More than 20 churches have been destroyed by Fulani herdsmen during attacks on communities in Benue State, Nigeria.
The attacks in Nigeria’s “Middle Belt” started early in March but resumed March 23 in the town of Gbajimba, in the Guma Local Government Area. The attacks have claimed more than 100 lives of local Christian farmers of the Tiv tribe.
Benue State is 95 percent Christian, and the rest mostly Muslim.
Benue Gov. Gabriel Suswam on March 11 escaped injury when his convoy was ambushed by Fulani herdsmen who engaged his security aides in gunfire at one of the affected villages in the Guma area.
The Muslim Fulani, believed to be from neighboring states, have attacked a number of communities, killing Tiv farmers and setting their houses ablaze.
The Tiv are a major ethno-linguistic group in Benue State who mainly depend on agriculture. The Fulani are a migratory ethnic group, some of whom are herdsmen in northern Nigeria and across western and central Africa.
The cause of the March 23 attack from by the Fulani cattle herdsmen, who have lived with the Tiv for ages, is not clear, but an indigenous farmer said there has been growing tension between the two groups.
“The Fulanis with their cattle have been destroying our land, and we have been killing their cattle. So they may be fighting back since they have to feed their cattle,” the farmer told World Watch Monitor, which is withholding his name to preserve his safety.
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SOURCE: World Watch Monitor