Clashes between herders and farmers in Nigeria kill thirty

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

According to reports, at least 30 people have been killed in fighting between farmers and cattle herders in the central Nasarawa State of Nigeria.

Member of parliament Mohammed Baba Ibaku said that the incident began on Friday, when armed herders raided the farm village of Udeni Gida. He commented that scores of homes were set on fire during the attack, and added that the herders were from the neighboring Kogi and Taraba states. The violence had occurred after a few weeks of tension between the two, mainly due to competition for land, which is becoming scarcer because of desertification.

Some reporters in the village said that they had seen at least fifty bodies of people killed in the violence. The town has now been placed under police control.

A clash similar to this one erupted two weeks ago, after herders led their cattle into rice fields. One farmer was killed during that incident.

Nasarawa State police commissioner Shehu Babolola confirmed the farmers and herders clashed again on Friday, but declined to give casualty figures.