Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs Canada co-wrote a report in which they conclude that the Fulani violence in Nigeria has turned into possible ethnic cleansing. They detail the attacks that take place in Benue State and show that these attacks are extreme and target Christians specifically. The study claims that violent conflict in the state is “religiously motivated” drawing on conclusions from the volume of Christians killed and injured, the destruction of Christian property including churches, and on gender-based attacks including rape and abduction. It also states that the government may be complicit in the violence, due to their inability to stop the attacks or punish the attackers.
2017-11-15 Nigeria (WorldWatchMonitor) A new report detailing the sustained attack on Christian communities by Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s central state of Benue concludes that the number and ferocity of incidents is evidence of ethnic cleansing.
Further, signs of ethnic cleansing on Christian communities “are likely to become increasingly evident” in light of a Fulani leader’s threat that the herdsmen will need to “defend their rights” after a ban on grazing was implemented earlier this month.
These are the findings in ‘Nigeria: Benue state under the shadow of herdsmen terrorism’, commissioned by Christian charities Open Doors International and Voice of the Martyrs Canada, which catalogues crimes committed against Christians by Hausa-Fulani herdsmen between January 2014 and August 2017.
Benue is a predominantly Christian state in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where thousands of Christians have lost their lives in recent years in non-Boko Haram related violence.
The grazing ban, which came into force on 2 November, was seen as a notable victory in combating the atrocities of the herdsmen after it was passed in May. Contravening the law could lead to five years in prison and a fine of one million Nigerian naira (US$2,800). The law can also be used against herdsmen carrying firearms or damaging farmers’ crops.
In his October press statement, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, National President and Secretary of the Fulani Socio-cultural Association, said the herdsmen would “defend their rights and lifestyle”.