Nigeria sends in troops, police after ethnic clashes

2017-06-23 21:29
Yemi Osinbajo (File: AFP)

Yemi Osinbajo (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Nigeria's acting president Yemi Osinbajo has ordered troops in to keep the peace in the restive state of Taraba after deadly clashes between herders and farmers.

The vice-president, standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on indefinite medical leave, said on Thursday the extra military battalions and police reinforcements had been sent.

Police say 18 people were killed in unrest between the Mambilla and Fulani groups in the central state earlier this week but others put the death toll at more than 100.

A local senator put the death toll at about 50 but it was not possible to independently verify that figure.

"With great sorrow, I offer my condolences to the victims of the violent attacks in communities in Taraba State," Osinbajo said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday evening.

"The perpetrators of these attacks and acts of violence will be brought to book," he said.

When asked about the the death toll and how many troops have been deployed to the area, Nigerian armed forces spokesperson John Enenche said "no confirmation yet".

The clashes comes as Osinbajo is trying to keep a lid on simmering ethnic tensions and has been calling for national unity in the face of an upsurge in separatist sentiment across Nigeria.

 'Cycle of violence' 

The Mambilla and Fulani clashed in Ngoroje village and the violence spread to other communities in the state, which borders Cameroon.

"We have lost 105 herdsmen in the Mambilla crisis in the last five days," said Mohammed Keruwa, head of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders' Association of Nigeria, an umbrella Fulani organisation.

"So far 40 settlements have been affected with over 100 homes razed. The Mambilla tribes are envious of the Fulani herders, whom they see as taking over their land," he told AFP.

"The Fulanis are Muslims and the Mambilla tribes are Christian. This adds to the volatility of the situation."

Taraba state police spokesperson David Misal added: "The situation is calm now. It was a misunderstanding between two ethnic groups the Mamabilla and the Fulani.

Taraba lies in Nigeria's restive "Middle Belt", where the mostly Christian south meets the largely Muslim north, and has long been a flashpoint for ethnic conflict.

The wider region is notorious for bloody election campaigns and battles over fertile farmland and resources, with opposing groups often staging brutal tit-for-tat reprisals.

Extra troops began arriving in Taraba from Monday, according to Jameel Muhammad, the media aide to Taraba Central Senator Abubakar Yusuf.

Political analyst Chris Ngwodo said the state has "very weak security institutions (and) is not able to forcefully confront the incident and punish the perpetrators".

"More and more ethnic communities are resorting to self-help and we're seeing a lot of militarisation on the ground, especially in the hinterlands of the country," he added.

"This is not the last that we'll see of this particular cycle of violence."

Read more on:    yemi osinbajo  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.