Warring Parties Count Losses as Violent Ethno-religious Conflict Resurfaces in Plateau LGA

The ethno-religious conflict between Fulani herders and Mmwagavul farmers in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State has resurfaced with violent attacks and counterattacks that lasted for two days.

The herders were attacked in the early hours of Friday, July 7, at their various settlements, while the Mmwagavuls were attacked last night.

Three days ago, Abdullah Didimi, a resident of Jannaret, a community in Mangu LGA did not know he would be rendered homeless and stripped of his belongings, including some of his relatives.

Plateau Crisis Resurfaces, Claims Scores in Mangu LGA

The scary gunshots in the early hours of Friday still reverberate in the memory of the 75-year-old man.

“It was early morning before we woke up, we began to hear gunshots sporadically,” he told WikkiTimes

Abdullahi Didim

Abdullahi believes the attack was carried out by Mmwagavul people, a predominant tribe in the local council alongside men of Operation Rainbow, a local security outfit in the state.

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He said the dire raid led to the killing of five people across Didim village, Kumbuli, Shagal and Dan Hausa. “Among them is my brother Malam Seni,” the septuagenarian said amid tears.

Displaced persons

According to him, the assailants spared no one. They attacked women, aged persons, children, animals and their farmlands.

“They also destroyed farmlands and set our houses ablaze,” he added.

Abdullahi and other scores of displaced victims now camp in public buildings in neighbouring villages. The locals said they are in desperate need of food and other necessities.

One of the destroyed farmlands

The septuagenarian lost everything to the invasion, except the cloth on his body.

“This is the only clothes I have now,” he mumbled. “He pleaded with the government to take decisive action to address the security challenges in the council.”

Security Operatives ‘Abetting Ethnic Cleansing Against Fulanis’ in Resurfaced Plateau Crisis

Hassan Yakubu, another victim of the attack said he could not figure out the losses from the attack. According to him, there were people displaced during the previous attacks, adding they were affected this time again.

He said despite living in the community for over a century, they are still regarded as non-indigenes. Abdullahi and Yakubu and their family members were all born in the Jannaret community, including their parents.

Other places attacked according to the locals are Kasuwan Ali Ampang and Dan Hausa communities in the LGA.

Some of the slain animals

Google map of Jannaret community

WikkiTimes gathered that the Friday attack was carried out barely a day after herders allegedly attacked the Kogul community dominated by Mmwagavuls. 

The attack, according to Punch newspaper, was carried out to recover cattle rustled by the Mmwagavuls in previous attacks. 

During the attack, five locals were killed and several properties were destroyed.

Alfred Alabo, spokesman for Plateau Police Command could not be reached when contacted. An enquiry sent to him had not been responded to as of press time.

Two months ago, WikkiTimes reported how security operatives allegedly abetted ethnic cleansing against Fulanis in Mangu LGA.

Death Toll in Plateau Attacks Rises to 85 — Victims Get Mass Burial

The locals revealed that some military personnel and mobile police led Mmwagavul youth to set herders’ settlements ablaze.

Mangu, an agrarian and peaceful local council is now experiencing the unending ethno-religious crises ravaging Plateau since 2001. According to a report by Vanguard,  over 200 people were killed within the last two months.

THE SATURDAY’S ATTACK

According to PREMIUM TIMES, nine locals were killed at Sabon Gari in Mangu LGA. During the last night’s attack, about six houses were also razed.

One of the leaders of the attacked community and the National President of the Global Society for the Middle Belt Heritage, Jerry Datim,  confirmed the attack, saying a local security outfit in the state responded swiftly.

“So far, we have recovered nine dead bodies. We are still searching because some people are still missing,” he said. “I wish to commend the men of Operation Rainbow,  their swift response brought the situation under control.”

Datim further urged the government to support local security with the necessary equipment to conquer the assailants.

“We call on the government to support them with necessary logistics for prompt response,” he said

James Oya, spokesman for Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), confirmed the incident but could not give the actual casualties recorded from the attack.

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