Latest violence in Southern Kaduna longest on record — Report

Map showing Southern Kaduna
Map showing Southern Kaduna

The recent violence in Southern Kaduna is the longest on the record, a newly-released report said.

The report, published by SBM Intelligence, a strategic intelligence analysis firm, showed that the current crisis had dragged for much longer than all unrests between 1980 and 2011.

“The current violence has occurred in several separate incidents over a period of time much longer than any other prior incidents,” the findings sent to PREMIUM TIMES by SBM Intelligence last week said.

The group said all the previous crises that broke out in Southern Kaduna, 1981, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2011, lasted only a week on average.

But the latest crisis first broke out in September 2016 and has dragged almost unabated, it said.

SBM Intelligence said its findings also showed that the latest killings occurred as a result of deliberate attacks unlike in the past when communities used to take on each other in the region.

“It’s also important to note that the earlier ones were clashes, these are attacks,” it said.

Over 200 people have been killed and thousands more displaced in the violence between Fulani herdsmen and largely farming communities in Southern Kaduna.

A curfew Governor Nasir El-Rufai imposed on Zangon Kataf was relaxed last week.

Mr. El-Rufai said the attackers were herdsmen from neighbouring countries who returned to avenge attacks on their relatives and livestock back in 2011

The governor came under fire after admitting he had sent payments to the attackers to compensate for their losses, as part of efforts by his government to end the bloodshed.

A foundation laid by the Nigerian Army for the construction of a military base in the area was destroyed last week.

Gov. El Rufai in Southern Kaduna (Photo Credit: AUTHENTIC News Daily)
Gov. El Rufai in Southern Kaduna (Photo Credit: AUTHENTIC News Daily)

The governor described the sabotage as “unfortunate, condemnable and a setback to the government’s communal stabilisation and peace-building efforts,” but said it will “not be deterred.”

SBM Intelligence said the unrest could prove economically disruptive for Nigeria’s multi-billion billion rail transportation project.

“From an economic perspective, it is important to note that as the government attempts to resuscitate the Nigerian rail service, both major rail lines, the Western linking Nguru to Lagos, and the Eastern linking Maiduguri to Port Harcourt, intersect via a link from Jos to Kaduna. This link passes through Kafanchan, which is at the centre of the current blood-letting. This is a major risk for Nigeria’s economy,” it said.

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