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UN Raises Alarm Over Bloody Plateau Attacks

According to local authorities, the UN human rights chief was “deeply alarmed” by a series of attacks on villages in central Nigeria that killed nearly 200 people.

Between Saturday evening and Tuesday morning, armed groups launched attacks in Nigeria’s Plateau State, a region plagued for years by religious and ethnic tensions.

The region is located on the border between Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

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I am deeply alarmed by the series of attacks by gunmen on multiple rural communities in Plateau State,” UN rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.

I call on the Nigerian authorities to investigate this incident promptly, thoroughly and independently, consistent with international human rights law, and to hold those responsible to account in fair trials.

The cycle of impunity fuelling recurrent violence must be urgently broken. The government should also take meaningful steps to address the underlying root causes and to ensure non-recurrence of this devastating violence.

Bandit militias have long terrorised Northwest and Central Nigeria, operating from deep in the forest and raiding villages to loot and kidnap residents for ransom.

Competition for natural resources between nomadic herders and farmers has exacerbated social tensions and sparked violence, exacerbated by rapid population growth and climate pressures.

Since 2009, a jihadist conflict has raged in northeastern Nigeria, killing tens of thousands of people and displacing approximately two million people as Boko Haram battles rivals linked to the Islamic State group for supremacy.

Since taking office in May, Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made combating insecurity a top priority in his efforts to encourage foreign investment in Africa’s most populous country.

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