Action needed to end deadly clashes between African herders and farmers: UN chief

UNICEF/Fati Abubakar
Children collect water in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state in north-east Nigeria, 2017. Each year, the countries around Lake Chad (Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon) suffer from severe flooding as part of the seasonal rains in the region. UNICEF warns that during the rainy season many children are at increased risk of waterborne diseases, like cholera, diarrhoea and malaria.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The United Nations stands ready to support efforts to resolve deadly clashes between farmers and nomadic herders in areas of West and Central Africa, the head of the global organization said on Thursday.

More than 80 people in central Nigeria were killed in land disputes between the two sides this week. However, this has been a long-standing issue with similar incidents occurring in other countries in Africa, causing more than 1,000 deaths over the past year alone, according to media reports.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed deep concern over the mounting violence, as well as the resulting banditry, extortion and cattle rustling.

“He condemns the resulting loss of life, property and livelihoods, as well as population displacement, which undermines peaceful coexistence between communities in many of the affected countries. It is also detrimental to regional stability,” the statement said.

The UN chief urged all concerned governments, regional organizations, civil society and other parties to work together to find solutions to the conflicts.

He underlined the readiness and commitment of the UN to support national and regional efforts in this regard.

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