06/06/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – May continued to be a month of devastation and death for Nigeria’s Middle Belt region. During the month of May, there were more than 30 attacks with more than 150 people killed. Though there were fewer deaths this month than the preceding ones, May also saw the largest single attack this year. On Saturday, May 5, Fulani militants stormed Gwaska village in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State. During this single attack, militants killed 71 people and destroyed many properties in the village.
There have also been statements made by victims of these attacks that military personnel in the region colluded with the Fulani militants prior to the attack. Prior to an attack in Numan, Adamawa State, villagers said that the military entered the village to enforce the disarmament of citizens. Shortly after this, the Fulani militants invaded the town and killed more than a dozen people. Though this may not be a sure sign of collusion, it is at least another sign of the ineptitude of the Nigerian military in protecting its people.
Below are the largest attacks that took place in May.
1. May 2, 2018: Fulani militants attacked four villages, Bang, Nyanga, Bonki, and Nzomosu, killing at least 15 and completely destroying the villages. Other sources have numbered as many as 30 dead.
2. May 5, 2018: Fulani militants attack Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State, killing 71.
3. May 14, 2018: Fulani militants kill 10 Tiv during an attack on Ilai and Ido-Gbede villages of Ijumu LGA.
Despite the massive attack and possible military collusion, there have been signs of possible change. There is more international attention on this issue than previously seen. After President Trump’s statement in April, lawmakers and politicians in the United States have started to speak out against the violence as well. Congressman Smith said, “Congress is watching the situation in Nigeria with growing concern, as the Nigerian government there appears too often to be indifferent to attacks by Fulani herdsmen on predominantly Christian farmers.” This growing concern by other nations may be the necessary catalyst for change in Nigeria.