The uptrend in attacks in the Middle Belt by Fulani militants continued in March, with the heaviest attacks taking place in Plateau and Taraba states. Throughout this past month, there were 27 attacks by Fulani, only six of which involved any fighting from those who were attacked. These 27 attacks led to the deaths of 225 Christians, the destruction of tens of thousands of dollars in property, and thousands of families displaced from their homes. During this same period, Boko Haram killed 37 people, many including military personnel with whom they were engaged in combat. These statistics show that not only is the Fulani crisis a bigger issue at the moment, but also that in more than 75% of cases, the Fulani attacked unarmed and defenseless civilians.
Plateau State suffered the greatest losses during this period with 107 Christians losing their lives. Despite this, there have been no major attempts by the Nigerian government to hold the Fulani accountable or disarm them. Both of these steps must happen if this violence is to be stopped.
Listed below are the biggest attacks that took place in March.
1. March 5, 2018: At least 24 were killed in a Fulani attack on the Idoma village of Omusu in Okpokpwu LGA.
2. March 12, 2018: Fulani militants attacked the Dundu area of Kwal in the evening. Twenty-five were reportedly killed.
3. March 14, 2018: Fulani militants attacked several villages in Dekina and Omala LGAs. Thirty-two were initially reported dead, with the number later raised to around 50. Hundreds were displaced following the violence.
This serious situation requires a serious response. Thus far in 2018, Fulani militants have killed more people than Boko Haram and affected a much larger area. Despite this, the federal government in Nigeria has paid little attention and allowed these militants to get away with mass murder. Even in areas where they have provided small amounts of security personnel, it has proven to be completely ineffective. We continue to call on the Nigerian government to reclaim the land that has been stolen by Fulani militants, rebuild the communities that have been destroyed, and protect Nigerian citizens from future attack.
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Publication date: April 9, 2018