Abuja, June 25: Curfew has been imposed in Nigeria after 86 people were killed in violent clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for calm late following violent clashes between mostly Muslim herders and Christian farmers in the central state of Plateau and described the deaths as “deeply unfortunate killings.”
President Muhammadu Buhari said that “no efforts will be spared to bring the perpetrators to justice” and prevent further violence.
Some reports say fighting began on Thursday when ethnic Berom farmers attacked Fulani herders, killing five of them. A retaliatory attack on Saturday led to more deaths.
The area has a decades-long history of violence between ethnic groups competing for land.
Police Commissioner Undie Adie said a search of villages following the bloodshed revealed that 86 people had been killed, and six injured.
He said 50 houses had been burned, as well as 15 motorbikes and two vehicles.
The Plateau state government said the curfew would be in place between 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Nigerian time) in the Riyom, Barikin Ladi and Jos South areas “to avert a breakdown of law and order”.
This region, where the Muslim north meets the Christian south is prone to religious tension – herders are ethnic Fulani and mostly Muslim, while the farmers are mostly Christian.
The country is already engaged in fighting two insurgences – Boko Haram in the north and militants in the oil-producing south.