Suspected Fulani herdsmen kill 30 in Zamfara

Fulani herdsmen

File Photo: Some Fulani Herdsmen on a Nigerian road

Some Fulani Herdsmen on the road
Some Fulani Herdsmen on the road

Gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen stormed a meeting in Galadima, Zamfara state and killed 30 people, the police said.

Zamfara state police spokesman Lawal Abdullahi said: “Thirty people were killed and several others injured. “The incident happened in Galadima yesterday during a meeting of community leaders and representatives of vigilante groups” who were discussing ways to thwart armed robbers and cattle rustlers, he said.

He said security forces have been deployed to the area. Survivors said more than 60 people might have died in the attack.

“We counted 61 bodies from the scene of the attack last night, while many people were wounded,” a survivor who gave his name only as Babaginda from neighbouring Kaduna state said.

He said he was lucky to escape and implored the security forces to stem incessant attacks by Fulani rustlers on villages in the area.

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The conflict between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers over land rights, particularly in central Nigeria, has persisted for more than a decade despite a series of peace efforts across several states.

Last month, some 100 people were killed in Kaduna state when assailants armed with guns and machetes attacked local farming villages.

Fulani leaders have for years complained about the loss of grazing land crucial to their livelihood, and resentment between the herdsmen and their agrarian neighbours has risen over the past decade.

Under Nigerian law, indigenous people have enhanced rights in their home areas, including preferential access to public education and jobs.

The Fulani claimed they have been systematically disenfranchised. The disputes vary from state to state and often have a religious element, especially in areas where farmers are predominantly Christian.