The Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN), a network of academics, practitioners and selected policymakers with peacebuilding mandate condemns in strongest term, the attacks on communities in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bassa and Jos South local government areas of Plateau state.
FFARN recognizes that the recent attacks is beyond farmer-herder conflict, however, embedded in this conflict is the question of criminality which is manifesting in form of attacks on communities, killing and stealing of cattle, destruction of farmlands and similar criminal activities. The fact that acts of criminality of this nature go unpunished has continued to embolden criminals to act with impunity, which is becoming a major defining feature of their operations. The blurry lines between the conflict and criminal activities need proper investigation for effective delineation of the two and appropriate response.
We hereby recommend:
• That Plateau state government work with the federal government to put in place sustainable structures that address the underlying factors and drivers of the lingering conflict between farmers and herders in the state. An inclusive, all-people approach should be used to engage stakeholders to holistically address the drivers of the conflict.
• The Plateau State government in concert with the federal government, development partners, civil society, traditional and religious leaders among others should invest more resources in prevention of violent conflicts, conflict transformation and peacebuilding as well as humanitarian response, post-conflict rehabilitation and recovery targeted at rebuilding the lives and livelihoods of the affected populations.