Clashes in central Nigeria: more than 100 dead, thousands displaced
BET À DAY
More than 100 people have been killed this week in central Nigeria as ongoing inter-communal clashes have forced thousands to flee their homes, local authorities say Friday morning.
Since Monday evening, attacks by armed men on several villages in Mangu district (Plateau State) “have claimed more than 100 lives”, according to AFP the representative of the district, Daput Minister Daniel.
A previous report the day before reported 85 people killed and dozens of wounded hospitalized.
The northwestern and central regions of Nigeria are regularly the scene of tensions and deadly conflicts around the exploitation of land and water resources between communities of farmers and herders, aggravated in recent years by the pressure population and climate change.
The chain of killings followed by reprisals has given rise to wider criminality in the region with gangs carrying out targeted expeditions into villages, where they kill residents by the dozens and carry out looting and kidnappings against ransoms.
On Thursday, the police said that security forces had been deployed in the area, that five people in connection with the violence had been arrested, and that calm had returned.
But in the afternoon, several local sources assured AFP that the violence was continuing.
“So far there have been reports of attacks and house fires in many places,” local official Daniel Daniel said on Friday morning.
“We need more men security forces, army and air force, to help us drive out the attackers,” he added, noting that new residents were fleeing their homes and villages.
“Houses have been burned, people are now scattered everywhere, some are in churches, mosques and other safe places.”
The National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) said on Thursday that more than 3,000 people have been displaced and hundreds of homes have been destroyed.
The Plateau state government has so far given no specific toll, citing only, in a Friday morning statement, “many deaths” in the violence.
Governor Simon Lalong called an emergency meeting on Thursday evening about the attacks and said security forces would maintain a presence on the ground to stem further violence, according to the press release.