The Mangu district in central Plateau state, Nigeria, has once again become the epicentre of violence, leaving at least 30 people dead in a recent spate of attacks.
Nigerian authorities have responded by dispatching reinforcements to the troubled region and making arrests in connection with the incidents.
The violence, characterized by indiscriminate shootings and arson, erupted in villages along the borders of the Mangu and Barkin Ladi districts.
Women and children were among the casualties, underscoring the brutality of the attacks.
Nigerian defence spokesperson Major General Edward Buba addressed the media during a briefing in Abuja, revealing that the killing of a local man by herders and an attempted cattle rustling triggered the violence.
“As we speak, arrests are still being made,” General Buba stated. “It is a developing situation; it’s an ongoing situation; more troops have been deployed to the location. The situation is not above us to handle. We’re handling it.”
This incident follows closely on the heels of deadly attacks in the same area on Christmas Eve, where approximately 140 people lost their lives and many others sustained injuries.
Residents attributed the Christmas Eve attacks to Fulani militias, highlighting the longstanding tensions between farmers and herders in Plateau state.
Communal clashes in the region have been a persistent challenge, resulting in thousands of casualties over the past few years.
Nigerian authorities have faced difficulties in effectively addressing the insecurity problems that have been spreading across the country.
The situation prompted Plateau state authorities to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Tuesday to contain escalating tensions.
Despite official assurances, some residents, like Joseph Bot from Mangu, expressed scepticism about the government’s ability to quell the violence.
“They’ll always tell you they’re on top of the matter, but even among the security, we have bad eggs that connive with those attackers,” said Bot.
He described a scenario where security forces fail to respond promptly to incidents, claiming they are awaiting orders.
Nigerian defence authorities vehemently denied these allegations, asserting that the military adheres to its rules of engagement.
The ongoing unrest has become a significant cause for concern, prompting international attention.
During his recent Africa trip, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the security situation with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu in Abuja.
Blinken expressed the United States’ unwavering support for Nigeria, stating, “The United States is determined to be and remain a strong security partner for Nigeria”.
”I want to extend the condolences of the American people to all Nigerians who were affected by the horrific attacks over the Christmas weekend and all killed in recent attacks.”
As Plateau state grapples with the aftermath of these tragic events, the international community watches closely, emphasizing the urgency for effective measures to address the root causes of the violence and ensure the safety and security of the affected communities.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members