Just this past weekend, at least 200 people are reported to have died in coordinated attacks on around 50 communities in Nigeria’s Plateau state. The majority of victims were women and children. While there is now a dawn to dusk curfew, the area remains tense.
This most recent episode is particularly shocking, but such attacks have become all too common. Indeed, it is the latest in an extended pattern of violence occurring on a daily basis in Nigeria – particularly across the Middle Belt.
Armed with sophisticated weaponry, including AK-47s, and on at least one occasion, rocket launchers, the Fulani herder militia is believed to have murdered more men, women and children in 2015, 2016 and 2017 than even Boko Haram, destroying, overrunning and seizing property and land, and displacing tens of thousands of people.