More than 3,600 people have been killed in clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria since 2016, Amnesty International said yesterday, blaming the government's failure to punish the perpetrators for fuelling the violence.
The international human rights organisation said more than 2,000 were killed in 2018 alone, while the bloodshed had made thousands of other people homeless.
Violence between farmers and nomadic herders is on the increase in Nigeria over access to fertile land and water, which is becoming scarce in the face of drought and rapid population growth.
"The Nigerian authorities' failure to investigate communal clashes and bring perpetrators to justice has fuelled a bloody escalation in the conflict between farmers and herders across the country, resulting in at least 3,641 deaths in the past three years and the displacement of thousands more," Amnesty said in a statement.
It said that of the 310 attacks recorded between January 2016 and October 2018, 57 percent were in 2018 and were most frequent in Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Taraba and Plateau.
The rights group also accused Nigerian security forces of not doing enough to stop the killings.