Advertisement

Nigeria's Benue clashes: Mass burial after farmer-Fulani clashes

From BBC - January 11, 2018

A mass burial of more than 70 people is under way in Nigeria's central Benue State.

Dozens have been killed in conflicts between nomadic herdsmen and farming communities in three states - Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba - in recent weeks.

The Nigerian army says it has deployed special forces to all three to "stem the menace".

Herders, mostly from the Fulani ethnic group, and farmers often clash over land in the region.

Since the New Year, the number of clashes has intensified, with more than 100 deaths reported in Benue and Taraba states.

Fighting has been particularly heavy in Benue state, where 80 people have been killed and 80,000 displaced.

"Thousands are attending today's funeral service to honour those killed," Benue's information commissioner Lawrence Onoja told the BBC.

Mr Onoja, who was at the funeral, said 73 people were being buried.

He defended his state's controversial ban on open cattle grazing implemented in November, which Fulani herders have complained targets them unfairly.

"Our economy in Benue State depends on agriculture," he said. "Take that away and we have a serious problem."

Advertisement

Continue reading at BBC »