At least 25 people were killed on Wednesday, December 19, when unidentified armed men suspected to be cattle thieves attacked the villages of Gidan Halilu and Gidan Kaka, both located in Zamfara state. According to the police, only five people were killed in both attacks.
Furthermore, on Saturday, December 22, 17 people were killed when armed bandits attacked the village of Magami in Zamfara.
Residents and displaced persons in the Tsafe Local Government Area (LGA), Zamfara state, are currently protesting, as of Monday, December 24, to demand government action over the resurgence of armed violence in the rural communities. A larger number of protesters have reportedly barricaded the Gusau-Zaria Road and disrupted traffic from Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina States. Additional clashes are likely in the coming days in Zamfara state.
Intercommunal clashes are common in Nigeria, especially between nomadic and settled communities. These kinds of clashes have been known to break out in the central Middle Belt region (e.g. in Plateau, Bauchi, Benue, Kaduna, and Nassawara states) as well as in the south, where casualties are regularly reported. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has reported that murder rates linked to ethnic violence are higher in Nigeria than those related to terrorism, also a major security concern in the country.
Generally speaking, the security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly concerning in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.
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