September 18, 2023

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Over 1300 killed, .3 million displaced  by herdsmen in 5 states  between Jan and June 2018 – ICC *Weighing options 

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 Over 1300 killed, .3 million displaced  by herdsmen in 5 states  between Jan and June 2018 – ICC
. Weighing options 
By Steve Oko 
 The International Criminal Court, ICC, has said that no fewer than 1,300 were killed , and over 300,000 displaced by murderous herdsmen in five Nigerian states between January and June 2018.
 ICC also said it  was examining the farmers-herders crisis in Nigeria to determine if the world criminal court had valid grounds to wade in. 
Lead prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, who disclosed this at The Hague, Netherlands, while presenting the annual report of ICC activities for 2018, on Wednesday, said the ICC was examining available information to know  whether there was reasonable basis to believe that the crimes reportedly  committed by the herders fall under its jurisdiction. 
According to him the preliminary examinations report, showed that the casualty figures quoted above were recorded in five states alone. 
Checks by Wawa News Global showed that  the affected states are predominantly Christian and agrarian communities in North Central and North East zones. 
The ICC report stated:  “From January to June 2018, over 1,300 people were reportedly killed as a result of violence between herders and settlers in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Adamawa and Taraba states and about 300,000 persons were displaced.
 “Furthermore, the office received communications on attacks allegedly carried out by herders and Christian settlers in the context of the violence in Nigeria’s North Central and North East geographical zones.
“This violence, which has been observed by the office since 2016, is often referred to as a conflict between herders and Christian farmers, stemming from limited access to water, land and other resources.”
According to ICC herdsmen attacks against local communities  in the country grew worse between 2017 and 2018.
“The escalation of violence in late 2017 and 2018 is reportedly the result of the rise of ethnic militias and community vigilantes and the passage of grazing laws in some of the affected states that reportedly imposed restrictions on herders, among others.
“Militias are also reported to have clashed with security men deployed in the affected area to address the deteriorating security situation.”
The report however, noted that criminal activities of cattle rustlers were in some cases  blamed on herdsmen. 
“Some of the attacks on civilians were allegedly committed by criminal gangs involved in cattle-rustling that were subsequently blamed on herders. 
‘’The Office has reviewed these communications and continues to gather additional information to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crimes allegedly committed in this context fall under ICC jurisdiction.”  

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Recall that despite the outrage and public outcry including international condemnations against herdsmen atrocities, the Nigerian Government is yet to brand them terrorists.

This has generated feelings and allegations in some quarters that Government has a soft spot for the herders.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email; Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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