Posted by Alexis Akwagyiram | 26 July 2018 | 1,343 times
Violence in Nigeria between semi-nomadic cattle herders and settled farmers has killed around six times more people than deaths related to the Boko Haram insurgency in the first half of 2018, and poses a major threat to the country’s stability, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Thursday.
The think-tank said in a report the violence, concentrated in central states and largely driven by competition over dwindling arable land amid a rapidly growing population, killed more than 1,300 people between January and June this year.
Security is a key challenge for President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria fights the Islamist insurgency in the northeast and seeks to quell the communal violence before an election in February next year in which he hopes to secure a second term.
Violence related to grazing rights has occurred for decades but threatens Buhari’s popularity in swing states as herders are mainly from the Fulani ethnic group, as is the president. Deaths have been politicised as his critics say he has not cracked down on the nomads, which he has denied.
“Now claiming about six times more civilian lives than the Boko Haram insurgency, the conflict poses a grave threat to the country’s stability and unity, and it could affect the 2019 general elections,” said ICG in its report. (Reuters)
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