Between 2017 and May 2, 2020, Fulani herdsmen conducted 654 attacks, killed 2,539 and kidnapped 253 people in Nigeria, a report obtained by ThisDay has shown
The report titled, ‘Working Document — Fulani Militias’ Terror: Compilation of News (2017-2020),’ revealed blood-curdling statistics of vicious attacks, deaths and kidnappings by the herdsmen.
It stated that the herdsmen assaults against farmers in Nigeria were “regular, systematic, targeted attacks.”
The author of the report José Luis Bazán, an independent researcher and analyst, based in Brussels, Belgium, said, “Nigerians are suffering widespread and systematic terrorist attacks by, mainly, Boko Haram, the ISIL-aligned Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), Fulani militias and Ansaru.”
Bazán, however, pointed out: “The Global Terrorist Index 2019 published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, indicates that the primary driver of the increase in terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa was a rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria attributed to Fulani extremists: 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 percent respectively from the prior year.”
The report noted that most of the “Fulani attacks were armed assaults” (200 out of 297 attacks) against civilians (84 percent of the attacks).
A breakdown analysis of the document by THISDAY indicates that in 2017, there were 99 attacks resulting in the killing of 202 people while 12 were kidnapped. In 2018, the attacks intensified rising to 245 resulting in bloodbath that caused 1,478 deaths.
The number of those kidnapped during that period rose to 29. Last year, 169 attacks, 524 killings, and three kidnappings were reported.
So far, in 2020 as of May 2, according to the report, there were 141 attacks, 335 people killed and 137 kidnapped.
But behind the figures, the document said the attacks, killings, and kidnappings were targeted at farmers who were “predominantly Christians.”
The report said, “Most of the victims are farmers (predominantly, Christians), but Fulani (predominantly, Muslim) have also attacked policemen, soldiers, etc.”
It noted further, “In our view, we can’t remain blind to the reality of regular, systematic, targeted attacks carried out by a minority of Fulani groups that spread terror among (Christian) farmers to achieve their own purposes, using AK47s, too.
“The attacks of these Fulani armed groups that form militias fit with the commonly accepted notion of terrorism as the intentional and illegal use of violence or threat of violence to intimidate a large spectrum of society, in the pursuit of political, religious, ideological or social objectives, and with the description of terrorist acts by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004).”