Herder–farmer conflicts in Nigeria

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Herder–farmer conflicts in Nigeria usually involve disputes over land and/or cattle between herders (in particular the Fulani and Hausa) and farmers (for example the Tiv or Tarok).

The most impacted states are those of the Nigerian Middle Belt like Benue, Taraba and Plateau.[1]

Since the Fourth Nigerian Republic’s founding in 1999, farmer-herder violence has killed thousands of people and displaced tens of thousands more. It followed a trend in the increase of farmer-herder conflicts throughout much of the western Sahel, due to an expansion of agriculturist population and cultivated land at the expense of pasturelands; deteriorating environmental conditions, desertification and soil degradation; breakdown in traditional conflict resolution mechanisms of land and water disputes; and proliferation of small arms and crime in rural areas.[2] Insecurity and violence have led many populations to create self-defence forces and ethnic militias, which have engaged in further violence. The majority of farmer-herder clashes have occurred between Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Christian peasants, exacerbating ethnoreligious hostilities.[3]

According to the Global Terrorism Index, Fulani militants were the fourth deadliest terrorist group in 2014, using machine guns and attacks on villages to assault and intimidate farmers. After killing around 80 people in total from 2010 to 2013, they killed 1,229 in 2014. Most deaths occurred in the Nigerian Middle Belt, in particular in the states of Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba, which recorded 847 deaths. The state of Zamfara, in the northern belt, recorded 229 deaths. In addition to terrorist attacks, Fulani militants were also involved in non-state armed conflicts with groups from Eggon, Jukun and Tiv farming communities. These conflicts resulted in over 800 deaths by 2015.[4]

The year 2016 saw further incidents in Agatu, Benue and Nimbo, Enugu State.[5][6]

In June 2018, over 200 people have died and 50 houses were burnt in clashes between farmers and Fulani cattle herders in Plateau State.[7][8][9]

In October 2018, Fulani herdsmen killed at least 19 people in Bassa.[10]

By 2018, over 2000 people were killed in those conflicts.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "KILLINGS IN BENUE, PLATEAU AND TARABA STATES". Archived from the original on 2015-07-27.
  2. ^ "My Land, Not Your Land. Farmer-Herder Wars in the Sahel". Foreign Affairs. 21 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Farmer-Herder Clashes Amplify Challenge for Beleaguered Nigerian Security". IPI Global Observatory. 16 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Global Terrorism Index 2015" (PDF). Institute for Economics and Peace. pp. 43–44.
  5. ^ Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Massacres Reach Southern Nigeria, Morning Star News. April 27, 2016
  6. ^ Fulani Herdsmen Massacre 40 Farmers in Enugu. Tori.ng; posted by Thandiubani on Tue 26th Apr, 2016
  7. ^ "Plateau attacks: more than 200 killed in herdsmen-farmers clash — Quartz Africa".
  8. ^ Nigeria's Plateau state clashes leave 86 dead
  9. ^ http://www.informationng.com/2018/06/86-people-killed-and-50-houses-burnt-in-fresh-fulani-herdsmen-attack-in-plateau.html
  10. ^ "Herdsmen kill 19 in Plateau midnight attack – Punch Newspapers".
  11. ^ http://saharareporters.com/2018/04/09/over-2000-nigerians-killed-farmers-herdsmen-clashes-across-nigeria-group
  12. ^ http://saharareporters.com/2018/01/11/benue-state-buries-73-killed-fulani-herdsmen-0