Violent intercommunal clashes broke out in Gwer West local government area (Benue state) on Saturday, March 2. According to local sources, gunmen attacked three villages in the area, killing at least 16 people and setting multiple houses on fire. Further intercommunal clashes are possible in Benue state in the coming days.
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.
Individuals in Nigeria, specifically Benue state, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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