Not less than six people were killed in an outburst of communal violence between herders and farmers in central Nigeria during the weekend, police told AFP on Monday.
The violence was inspired on Saturday after the body of a herder, who had been robbed of his motorcycle, was found in a village in eastern Taraba state, the region’s police commissioner Yunana Yakubu Babas said.
“The kinsmen of the deceased attacked the (farmers) with guns whom they accused of the killing,” he said.
The violence has forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes, according to local media reports, which also gave higher death tolls.
Fulani herders had accused members of the Tiv farming community of banditry resulting in loss of life and earnings, Babas said.
“Calm has been restored and we have been holding reconciliatory meetings between the Fulani and Tiv community leaders on how to bring an end to such incidents in the area,” he added.
Deadly violence between herders and farmers is common in Nigeria, especially in the centre of the country where clashes over grazing and water rights between Fulani herdsmen and farmers have led to several killings in recent years.
The clashes have led Nigeria’s government to consider creating grazing reserves for Fulani herders across the country although lawmakers from the affected areas have opposed the idea.