Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live

News

news

Nigeria: farmers, nomads fight over land

Nigeria: farmers, nomads fight over land

Nigeria

Clashes between herders and farmers in 2018 have killed more people in Nigeria than the conflict involving the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.

A Reuters analysis of satellite data shows how a massive expansion of farming in Nigeria’s Middle Belt has cut access to grazing land for nomadic herders and fuelled persistent violence.

Fears abound that violence might erupt between herders in search of water for their cattle and farmers determined to protect their land in the coming dry season.

We were just cooking, before we could know it we heard some gunshots from nowhere. So the gunshot was much for us, we had to rush, the men had to ask women and children that they should come out maybe to safety, then from there I just don't know what happened, we just ran away but we saw some of them on the way, even t

Kangyan Dankye is an internally displaced person.

“We were just cooking, before we could know it we heard some gunshots from nowhere. So the gunshot was much for us, we had to rush, the men had to ask women and children that they should come out maybe to safety, then from there I just don’t know what happened, we just ran away but we saw some of them on the way, even the army was among them.”

Authorities have blamed the violence on religion and ethnic divisions.

ICRC Regional Director for Africa, Pareicia Danzi said “we can do more, we can do differently. It is always a challenge to bring exactly the support that people need at that very moment. Now they are telling us we want to go back, we need to resettle, we need to re-start life, it is about that kind of support that when you arrive newly in an IDP camp. So we try to adapt to the best we can to the needs of the people at the given moment in their displacement.”

Violence involving Fulani herders and farmers has intensified since 2011 but most frequent in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, a region where the mostly Christian south converges with the Islamic north.

View more