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Plateau Massacre: How 112 Lives Were Lost to Herdsmen Attacks on Xmas Eve



Plateau Massacre: How 112 Lives Were Lost to Herdsmen Attacks on Xmas Eve

(iexclusivenews) – On the night of December 24, 2023, a horrific tragedy unfolded in Plateau State, Nigeria, as suspected herdsmen launched a series of deadly attacks on several villages, leaving at least 112 people dead and 47 others wounded.

According to reports monitored by this online news outlet on Peoples Gazette, the security sources and local leaders stated that the herdsmen carried out coordinated strikes on 12 communities. Across Barkin Ladi and Bokkos local government areas, starting from Saturday evening and lasting until Sunday midnight.

The Victims and The Villages

According to a security source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the attackers used sophisticated weapons and tactics that were beyond the capacity of any ordinary group.

“They made separate entries and started butchering people and continued until midnight on Sunday,” the source said. “We don’t know how they obtained the equipment they used but no group should have this capacity.”

The villages that were affected by the attacks include Ruku, Hurum, Darwat, Mai Yanga Sabo in Gashi and Ropp districts of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.

Solomon Musa, president of Berom Youth Moulders-Association, said at least 60 bodies were recovered in Bokkos, about 52 kilometres southeast of Jos, as of Monday afternoon, while 26 bodies were found in Ropp and Gashi.

A police inspector confirmed that the death toll had exceeded 112, with most of the victims being women and children.

“They evacuated 47 people with different injuries to hospitals and clinics,” a local chief, Joseph Gwamzhi, said. “In some communities, the attacks lasted more than five hours.”


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The Security Response and The Government Reaction

Witnesses said the security forces were overwhelmed by the scale and intensity of the herdsmen attacks, and were unable to confront the perpetrators, some of whom were allegedly dressed in military uniforms.

A spokesman for the police in Plateau did not respond to a request for comment on the security response.

A government spokesman said a statement would be issued on the situation.

The attack could pose a major challenge for Governor Caleb Muftwang, who took office in May with a promise to end the longstanding conflict between nomadic herders and farmers over land and water resources in the region.

The governor has not yet commented on the incident, but sources said he was in contact with the federal authorities and the security agencies to address the crisis.

The Background and The Implications

Plateau State has been a flashpoint of violence between herdsmen and farmers for decades, with thousands of lives lost and properties destroyed.

The conflict has been fueled by ethnic, religious and political factors, as well as environmental degradation and climate change that have reduced the availability of grazing land and water for the herders.

The latest attack comes amid rising tensions and insecurity in the country, as the government struggles to contain the activities of armed groups, such as Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers, that have terrorized the population and disrupted the economy.

The attack also raises questions about the effectiveness of the security forces and the government’s commitment to protect the lives and properties of the citizens.

The attack has drawn condemnation and sympathy from various quarters, including civil society groups, religious leaders and international organizations.

They have called for justice for the victims and urged the government to take urgent steps to prevent further bloodshed and restore peace and stability in the region.


Source: (Peoples Gazette)