International Criminal Court examining farmers-herdsmen crisis

Lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have disclosed that the ongoing farmers-herders crisis in Nigeria is being examined to  by the court determine whether there was reasonable basis to believe that the crimes allegedly committed fall under its jurisdiction.

Fatou Bensouda, said this while he was presenting the annual report
of ICC activities for 2018, on Wednesday, at the Hague.

The report which covers the January to June 2018 period, studied several countries -- Nigeria included-- revealed that over 1,300 people were killed and 300,000 displaced as a result of clashes between herders and farmers in five states.

The report stated: “From January to June 2018, over 1,300 people were reportedly killed as a result of violence between herders and settlers in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Adamawa and Taraba states and about 300,000 persons were displaced.

“Furthermore, the office received communications on attacks allegedly carried out by herders and Christian settlers in the context of the violence in Nigeria’s North Central and North East geographical zones.

‘’This violence, which has been observed by the office since 2016, is often referred to as a conflict between herders and Christian farmers, stemming from limited access to water, land and other resources.”

It also added that, between 2017 and 2018, violence in the country rose:

“The escalation of violence in late 2017 and 2018 is reportedly the result of the rise of ethnic militias and community vigilantes and the passage of grazing laws in some of the affected states that reportedly imposed restrictions on herders, among others.”

“Militias are also reported to have clashed with security men deployed in the affected area to address the deteriorating security situation.

“Some of the attacks on civilians were allegedly committed by criminal gangs involved in cattle-rustling that were subsequently blamed on herders.

‘’The Office has reviewed these communications and continues to gather additional information to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crimes allegedly committed in this context fall under ICC jurisdiction.”




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