…By Larry John for TDPel Media.
Inter-communal violence in central Nigeria has resulted in a tragic loss of life, with more than 100 people killed in recent days.
The clashes between cattle herders and farming communities in Plateau State have escalated, leading to the destruction of numerous homes and the displacement of thousands of individuals.
This region has long grappled with ethnic and religious tensions, as well as reprisal attacks, making these clashes the most severe in years.
Escalation of Violence and Rising Death Toll:
Attacks by gunmen targeting farming villages in and around the district of Mangu have caused the death toll to surpass 100, surpassing earlier reports that indicated 85 casualties.
Despite previous claims by Plateau State security forces that calm had been restored, several villages continue to experience violence, prompting residents to flee.
Daput Minister Daniel, the chairman of Mangu district, confirmed the staggering death toll and expressed concerns about the burning of houses in various locations within the local government area.
Solomon Maren, a lawmaker representing Mangu and neighboring Bokkos, corroborated the figure, highlighting that over a dozen communities had been ravaged by these attacks.
Efforts to Restore Peace and Provide Relief:
The Plateau State government, recognizing the gravity of the situation, held an emergency meeting to address the attacks.
They pledged to deploy additional security forces to quell further violence.
While the situation is currently calm, access to certain communities remains challenging.
The government has refrained from disclosing an official death toll, stating only that the violence has resulted in numerous fatalities.
Displacement and Destruction:
As a consequence of the clashes, more than 3,000 people have been displaced, and hundreds of houses have been destroyed, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
This widespread displacement has left many families without shelter and in urgent need of assistance.
Ongoing Security Concerns:
The recent surge in clashes follows a relatively peaceful period during the presidential and state elections in February and March.
Last month, an attack on a farming village in Kaduna state, allegedly carried out by herders, claimed the lives of 33 individuals.
Inter-communal violence between herders and farmers is also a common occurrence in this region.
Nigeria’s security forces are currently grappling with multiple security challenges, including armed bandit militias in the northwest, a longstanding jihadist insurgency in the northeast, and separatist tensions in the southeast.
The violent clashes in central Nigeria have resulted in a significant loss of life, extensive displacement, and the destruction of homes.
The escalation of inter-communal tensions in Plateau State has added to the existing challenges faced by the region.
Urgent efforts are underway to restore peace, provide relief to the affected communities, and prevent further violence.