Hundreds of lives have been lost and hundreds of homes have been burned since the start of 2019, raising questions again about the truth behind the violence occurring between Fulani Muslim herdsmen and predominantly Christian farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
While conflicts between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in the Middle Belt date back decades, there’s been a noticeable increase in deadly massacres across several states in the Middle Belt of Nigeria since January 2018, where people were slaughtered and communities razed.
In addition to the seemingly countless numbers of people killed, it has been estimated that as many as 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes by the communal violence.
What’s happening in the Middle Belt of Nigeria can be confusing for onlookers outside the country because of the fact that there are competing narratives.
One narrative labels the Fulani attacks against Christian farmers a “genocide” perpetrated by radicalized Islamic herders looking to drive out Christians from their homes.
A second narrative paints the killings as being part of a years-old conflict exacerbated by several factors, including increased Fulani herdsmen migration due to the Boko Haram insurgency and the desertification in the north.
In the following pages are five key facts you need to know about the Fulani conflict in Nigeria.
1. What’s at the root of the crisis?
What’s at the root of the Fulani Muslim herders versus Christians conflict can vary depending on who is asked.
According to prominent human rights watchdog group Human Rights Watch, the violence is increasingly described in “religious terms” (Muslim Fulani extremists vs. Christian farmers) but the organization stresses that “competing claims to land and other resources are at its core.”
Fulani are an ethnic group of over 20 million in West and Central Africa. According to the Global Terror Index, only a small subset of Fulani herders (extremists) engage in attacks. Herders have been known to travel hundreds of miles while carrying weapons to protect their livestock.
But over the last several years there has been an increase in Fulani from the north To continue reading, go to https://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-genocide-in-nigeria-5-facts-you-need-to-know.html