To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the types of weapons used by Fulani herdsmen involved in fighting in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, and (2) from which countries these weapons originate.
9 April 2021
The UK Government condemns all incidents of intercommunal violence. These have had a devastating impact on both Christian and Muslim communities across multiple states in Nigeria. The UK Government urges all communities to work together to address problems peacefully and to avoid division. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all. The Minister for Africa and the Deputy National Security Adviser have raised the issue of intercommunal violence with President Buhari's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, most recently in December 2020. The Minister for Africa publicly welcomed President Buhari's commitment to protect all religious and ethnic groups in the country in February this year, and reiterated the importance of communities working together.
The FCDO monitors incidents of intercommunal violence very closely, both from the UK and through the British High Commission in Nigeria. Although we do not hold figures on the numbers killed during incidents of intercommunal violence, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project estimates there have been just over 6,000 fatalities from all conflict and political violence across Nigeria's Middle Belt, plus Kaduna and Taraba, over the last five years. These fatalities span all religious groups and ethnic backgrounds. Perpetrators of violence in the Middle Belt have used a range of weapons, including staves, knives and guns in attacks.