BELGIAN analyst Dr José Luis Bazán has published new figures showing that as many as 2,539 people have been killed by Fulani cattle herdsmen across Nigeria within the last three years.
In the report titled Fulani Militias Terror: Compilation of News (2017-2020), Dr Bazan revealed that Fulani militias have become Nigerian’s most lethal group. He added that apart from the deaths, there have been 393 wounded, 253 kidnapped, 16 raped, more than 7, 582 houses burnt and 24 churches destroyed in 654 attacks carried out within three years.
Dr Bazán, an independent researcher and analyst in Brussels, Belgium, said Nigerians were suffering from widespread and systematic terrorist attacks, mainly by Boko Haram, Islamic State for West Africa Province (Iswap), Ansaru and Fulani militias. His report said the Global Terrorist Index 2019 published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, indicated that the primary driver of the increase in terrorism in the Sub-Saharan Africa was a rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria attributed, not to Boko Haram, Iswap or Ansaru, but to Fulani extremists.
His report added: “In 2018, Fulani extremists were responsible for the majority of terror-related deaths in Nigeria (1,158 fatalities), with an increase by 261% and 308% respectively from the prior year. Most of Fulani attacks were armed assaults (200 out of 297 attacks) against civilians (84% of the attacks), while bandits and criminal gangs’ attacks are also part of the unfortunate reality that Nigerians have to face in their lives.”
In addition, the report indicated that the research was carried out mainly on the attacks in Nigeria attributed to presumably Fulani by the mass media, non-governmental organisations and, in few cases, private sources. It stressed that listed attacks were sorted by date of the attack, or if not possible, the date of the report, from 2017 until May 7 2020.
According to the report, some of the news compiled refer to certain statements, reactions or events which are connected to the Fulani attacks that may be useful to understand better the complex situation. However, the report revealed that it was difficult to know the exact number of victims of the attacks since the news usually, in particular when the attacks are massive.
“Most of the victims are farmers, predominantly, Christians but Fulani, predominantly Muslim, have also attacked policemen, soldiers, etc. In some cases, media identify the religious denomination of the victims, for example, when the attacks took place during or after religious ceremonies and in particular, the Christian media, that have a better knowledge about the affiliation of their own faithful,” the report added.