Thursday, February 11, 2021

Thousands of herders flee southern Nigeria over ethnic attacks

 Around 4,000 ethnic Fulani herders have fled southern Nigeria in the past one week following deadly attacks by mobs who blame them for rising crime in their region, officials said on Thursday.


In recent weeks, there have been attacks on Fulani herding settlements in the Yoruba-speaking southwest and the Igbo-speaking southeast by mobs from local communities.

The herders are accused of being behind a rising spate of kidnapping as well as violent clashes with farmers over grazing rights, underscoring inter-communal tensions in the multi-ethnic nation of 200 million people.

"We have verified around 4,000 Fulani herders who arrived in the state in the past few days," Hussaini Abdullahi of the northern Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told AFP.

"More are still arriving," he said, adding that the government would assist the herders to settle down.

"Their major needs are food and household items because they came with nothing, having lost all they had," Abdullahi added.

Haruna Usman Dugga, head of MACBAN, the Fulani herders union in the state, said the returnees had been sheltered at a game reserve.

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