Nigeria: Conflict in the Middle Belt
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the ongoing inter-communal conflict between predominately Muslim cattle-herding nomadic groups and mostly Christian settled farming populations in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
Communities in Central Nigeria are engaged in an increasingly violent and complex conflict that cost the economy more than $14 billion from 2012-2015. It is estimated more than 1,200 people lost their lives in 2014, and deadly attacks have continued with more than 100 casualties in just one attack alone earlier this year. As farmers abandon their fields and Fulani herdsman reroute their livestock to avoid Boko Haram militants, herdsmen clash with farmers, and farmers launch reprisal attacks. This cycle of violence has led to loss of life, less planting and the reduction of crop output. While this situation affects over half the country, its more diffuse nature has led to less international press coverage and world-wide attention.
This hearing will examine the international community’s role in helping the Nigerian government address these violent attacks and widespread human rights abuses. Has this inter-communal violence over resources begun to take on ethnic and/or religious dynamics? How is the Nigerian government responding to this conflict? Furthermore, what strategies are effectively addressing the drivers of the conflict and the multiple human rights violations? Witnesses will present testimony on the human rights challenges in the Middle Belt, and will explore possible solutions.
- EJ Hogendoorn, Deputy Program Director, Africa, International Crisis Group
- Oge Onubogu, Senior Program Officer for Africa Programs, United States Institute of Peace
- Olubukola Ademola-Adelehin, Conflict Analyst, Nigeria, Search for Common Ground
- Elijah Brown, Executive Director, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
Submitted for the Record
Statement from Rep. Trent Franks