Herders, farmers clashes in 5 states claimed 7,000 lives in five years- Report by US agency

An estimated 7,000 Nigerians were killed between 2015 and 2019 in the persistent violence between farmers and pastoralists in the middle belt states of Benue and Nasarawa, according to a report funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

An international non-governmental organisation, Mercy Corps, conducted the study across the states which was presented at Bon Elvis Hotels, Abuja on Thursday.

The report, titled ”Engaging Communities for Peace in Nigeria (ECPN),” also revealed that the violence cost the Nigerian economy $13 billion a year over the past five years.

The group which said the study was aimed at preventing violent conflict between farmer and herders in the middle belt states noted that participants in the programme succeeded in resolving1932 inter and the intra-community disputes.

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According to the report, over 600 disputes over grazing routes, seasonal access to water points, crop damage, cutting down of economic trees, water pollution by animals, and commerce were addressed peacefully in the communities where ECPN worked.

Thursday’s presentation was witnessed by the paramount ruler of the Tiv, Tor Tiv James Ayatse, the Country Director, Mercy Corps, Darius Radcliffe, USAID Mission Director, Stephen Haykin, who was represented by USAID country Democracy Officer, Beatrice Reaud, amongst others.

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