As an effort to end insecurity and relentless killings, the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has begun a process of dialogue with armed Fulani herders in the country, a source said on Friday.
Islamic Fulani herders have targeted many Christian communities, mainly those occupied by farmers, and have killed thousands in numerous attacks.
Attacks and killings have not slowed amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
According to the source, the new dialogue will focus on disarming the violent herders, creating a favorable environment for them and compensating them “where necessary”.
“The government is also planning to set up settlements for most of them who live in the forests. The success of the dialogue will be determined by the leaders of the herdsmen,” the source also said.
In 2019, Nigerians protested against a controversial bill calling for the establishment of settlements across the federation for violent herders.
A report by José Luis Bazán, independent researcher and analyst, based in Brussels, Belgium, said that between 2017 and May 2, 2020, armed Fulani herders carried out 654 attacks and killed 2,539 people in Nigeria. The number has now increased by 30% following attacks during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdwn.