Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a military crackdown on ethnic Fulani herders who are accused of being behind a spate of deadly attacks this year.
Clashes between different groups of Fulani herders and farmers are reported to have killed thousands of people in the West African country over the past two decades.
In 2014, more than 1,200 people were killed in the clashes, according to the most recent Global Terrorism Index.
This made the Fulani’s the world’s fourth deadliest militant group, the report said.
This year, around 300 people were killed in a deadly massacre in Central Benue State in February, and in September, more than 40 people were killed in an attack in southern Enugu State.
The killings caused nationwide outrage in Nigeria.
This led to growing anti-Fulani sentiment in some parts of the country with the hashtag #fulaniherdsmen trending on social media.
Now, President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, has responded to the public outcry and ordered the security forces to crack down on the cattle raiders.
The president has also prioritized crushing jihast group Boko Haram, and earlier this year gave the army a deadline to ensure the group’s leaders were captured.