Uniting To End Conflict Between Herdsmen And Farmers

Uniting To End Conflict Between Herdsmen And Farmers

The Boko Haram is usually referred to as the ‘biggest threat to Nigeria’s state security’ and, even, as one of the world’s deadliest militant groups. But in the first four months of 2016, the group has, clearly, been responsible for less deaths—208 to be precise—than other sectarian groups in Nigeria combined, which have accounted for 438 deaths so far, according to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker.

A huge chunk of these are down to an ongoing conflict between predominantly Fulani herdsmen and settled farming communities, which is costing the Nigerian economy billions of dollars per year as well as hundreds—if not thousands—of lives. The questions that I’ve kept asking myself are: How did the conflicts degenerate to this level? Who are responsible for these attacks? What are the governments and leaders of these warring groups doing to stop further attacks?

Clashes between mostly Fulani herdsmen and settled communities have been concentrated in North-Central Nigeria, particularly in Benue, Plateau, Kaduna and Nassarawa. Now, it has extended to the Southeastern part of the country. President Muhammadu Buhari ordered an inquiry into the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Benue at the end of February, which reportedly resulted in hundreds of deaths and the displacement of thousands. Besides the obvious security threat, the low-level battles are draining Nigeria’s economy of resources and potential funds. A series of reports published in July 2015 by global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps found that the four precise—than other sectarian groups in Nigeria combined, which have accounted for 438 deaths so far, according to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker.

A huge chunk of these are down to an ongoing conflict between predominantly Fulani herdsmen and settled farming communities, which is costing the Nigerian economy billions of dollars per year as well as hundreds—if not thousands—of lives. The questions that I’ve kept asking myself are: How did the conflicts degenerate to this level? Who are responsible for these attacks? What are the governments and leaders of these warring groups doing to stop further attacks?

Written by: Khadija Abdullahi Iya

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