from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – CLASHES between farmers and livestock herders in Nigeria have killed more than 400 people over the past year.
According to the Nextier Security, Peace and Development (SPD), in the twelve months to September 2021, farmer-herder conflicts occurred 71 times, accounting for 406 deaths, 49 injuries and 15 people were kidnapped.
Except for one death, all the victims were civilians, the think-tank stated in its Violent Conflict Database.
The North-Central region remains the hotbed for farmer-herder conflicts, in terms of incidents.
The North-West is the most violent in terms of casualties per incident.
The North-Central region recorded 58 percent of the incidents and accounted for 61 percent of the casualties.
Nextier SPD lamented that the conflicts resulted in indiscriminate and avoidable loss of (human) lives and properties in Nigeria.
“The country is locked in a perennial macabre dance between sedentary farmers and nomadic pastoralists or herders.”
Although mostly agrarian in nature, the conflict has turned assumed political, cultural and ethno-religious dimensions.
Africa’s most populous country, estimated at 212,9 million, Nigeria is almost equally Muslim and Christian.
The West African nation has over 370 ethnic groups and more than 500 languages.
It also is contending with terror by the Islamist Boko Haram group and a spree by kidnap gangs.
– CAJ News