Nigeria farmers under siege from armed groups


Fulani pastoralists

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – DEADLY attacks by armed groups against farmers is hindering critical food supplies and threatening to push Nigeria deeper into a hunger crisis.

Save the Children has raised concern as increased attacks lead to displacement, market disruptions and loss of livelihoods.

Armed groups killed more than 128 farmers and kidnapped 37 others across Nigeria between January and June 2023, according to the Nigerian Security Tracker.

In June, 19 farmers were killed by non-state armed groups in northeastern Borno State alone.

Famari Barro, Save the Children’s Country Director for Nigeria, said these violent attacks against farmers were exacerbating the already dire hunger crisis in the country, especially in the north where millions of children are at threat.

“Armed groups committing these ruthless acts are not only disrupting food production but also pushing children to the brink,” the official said.

Barro said urgent action must prioritise the needs of children to stop the devastating trend and protect innocent lives.

“If not, armed groups will continue to carry out brutal attacks, drive food prices, and push more families to starvation.”

In January, the United Nations estimated that more than 25 million people in Nigeria could face food insecurity this year. This is a 47 percent increase from the 17 million people who were already at risk of going hungry, mainly due to the ongoing insecurity, protracted conflicts, and the projected rise in food prices.

In addition, an estimated 2 million children under five across the northeastern states of Adamawa Borno and Yobe are likely to be pushed into acute malnutrition in 2023, with about 700 000 children on the brink of death.

The states are the most impacted by the insurgency by Islamist groups.

– CAJ News

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