Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Spreading and Attacking Christian Farming Communities in Nigeria

As deadly violence against Christians in Nigeria continues unabated, militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen conducted attacks on 16 Christian farming villages.

AFRICA

GJC

2021-07-25 3 min read

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As deadly violence against Christians in Nigeria continues unabated, militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen conducted attacks on 16 Christian farming villages in the Miango community of Plateau state last week, displacing over 11,000 people, International Christian Concern reports.

Tens of thousands of Christians have been murdered over the last 20 years in Nigeria, a country which the US Commission on International Religious Freedom described in its 2021 report as a “killing field” for the nation’s Christians. In addition to the many thousands of Christians who have been murdered in Nigeria, hundreds of thousands have lost their homes and all they had and are living as refugees, ICC said.

Following last week’s attacks on the Plateau Christian farming communities, a local source told ICC: “This is the risk to farm as a Christian. Going to the farm is like committing suicide.”

“More Christians will die of hunger in Nigeria if nothing is done to stop farm destruction by Fulani Muslims,” another local source told ICC. “They want us out of our land… the government is silent, not saying the truth because the President is a Fulani Muslim. Farms are destroyed daily without reporting… nobody is saying anything about it.” Yet another source said: “The Nigerian government is not willing to help us. We are tired of receiving no compensation.”

Calling for prayer in its report, ICC said: “Please pray for Christian communities around Nigeria that are suffering from the devastation of militant groups intent on driving them from their ancestral lands. Whether Boko Haram, Islamic State, or Fulani militants, the harm caused by religious violence in Nigeria is massive and victims of these groups need your prayers.”

In another news update, Ten people, including an infant, have died after armed Islamic Fulani militants continued attacks in areas of Nigeria’s Christian-majority southern Kaduna State, aid workers said.

News just emerged of the July 12-13 violence in which militants of the Fulani ethnic group first overran mainly Christian Atyap communities in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area.

Around 84 percent of the Atyap people are Christians, according to the Barnabas Fund charity, which supports Christians there. “Two men, aged 70 and 62, died in Magamiya village when gunmen attacked at around 11 p.m.,” the group to says.

“In a two-hour assault, several homes were looted of valuables and food, which were loaded into four waiting vans. Houses were set on fire, and an attempt was made to burn down the church,” Barnabas Fund added.

The overnight violence on July 12 came while the area still recovered as homes were looted and destroyed in previous attacks on Christian communities last year.

STORMING VILLAGE

The militants went on “to storm the village of Matyei, killing eight people including an infant,” early July 13, Barnabas Fund added. All 156 homes in the community and its church were burned, explained the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) of local communities.

Soon after, a church and at least a dozen homes were razed in an assault on the nearby community of Abuyab, according to Christians familiar with the situation.

The violence added to a rapidly rising death toll. In earlier assaults on Atyap people in Kaduna State, nine villagers were killed and homes destroyed in Makarau on Sunday, July 11, and nine died in Warkan village on July 9, aid workers said.

SOKAPU stressed that survivors of the recent attacks all identified their assailants as Fulani militants.

The union says that since July 2020, at least 100 Atyap people were killed, about 24 Atyap villages burned, and hundreds of hectares of farmland laid waste by Fulani fighters.

Rights activists have expressed frustration over the Nigerian authorities’ perceived unwillingness to intervene and protect Christians. “Not a single Fulani leader has been called for questioning,” SOKAPU added.

The Nigerian government, however, has made clear that it send security forces to troubled regions, but critics claim not enough is done to prevent Islamic violence.
Credit to: ICC and Worthy News