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Renewed ethnic clashes erupt in central region

A fresh outbreak of ethnic fighting has erupted in Nigeria’s central region Taraba State, with dozens of people killed and thousands forced to flee their homes, local officials told IRIN on Monday. More than 100 armed men, suspected to be part of an ethnic Tiv militia, attacked several settlements of their neighbours, the Jukuns, in the Donga area, near the border with Benue State on Saturday, burning houses and killing several people, John Adamu, an official of the Taraba State government said. “The attacks continued on Sunday, with more villages burnt and still more people killed,” the official told IRIN. Benue officials have also reported a renewed influx of displaced Tivs from Taraba State seeking refuge in Benue State as a result of the violence. “Early on Sunday three trailers filled with displaced people running for safety were brought into Makurdi”[the capital of Benue State], Benson Ogaba, a Benue state official, told IRIN. Several hundreds of people have been killed since the longstanding dispute between Tivs and their Jukun neighbours over land ownership, flared up in violence in September. Troops sent in by President Olusegun Obasanjo into the area to quell the violence became mired in the conflict after 19 of their men were killed by a Tiv militia. Reprisal attacks mounted by soldiers in October against several Tiv villages resulted in the death of more than 200 people and the displacement of tens of thousands of others. Residents of the affected area have continued to report military activity in their districts against unarmed villagers, with more people being killed, injured or forced to flee their homes.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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