Thousands displaced as death toll climbs in central Nigeria clashes

By Rédaction Africanews and AFP

NIGERIA – Over 3,000 people have been displaced in central Nigeria after at least 85 people were killed in ongoing clashes between herders and farmers, officials said Thursday (May. 18).

The violence erupted on Monday (May 15), with an initial death toll of 30, in several villages of Plateau State, an area which has struggled with ethnic and religious tensions for years.

Several villages in the Mangu district of Plateau state were still caught up in the violence on Thursday, with residents fleeing, according to local sources and witnesses.

The crisis is just one of the many security challenges facing President-elect Bola Tinubu, who takes the helm of Africa’s most populous nation later this month.

It was unclear what triggered this week’s attacks in Mangu but tit-for-tat killings between herders and farmers often spiral into village raids by heavily armed gangs.

“Eighty-five bodies (were) recovered,” the chairman of the local government council Daput Minister Daniel told AFP.

Joseph Gwankat, a community leader from the local Mwaghavul Development Association, gave the same toll.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said thousands of people were displaced and hundreds of houses destroyed as a result of the violence.

“We got a total number of 3,683 (people) displaced,” Eugene Nyelong, regional coordinator at NEMA, told AFP, saying that emergency relief was on its way to those in need.

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