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>> Muslim herdsman and Christian farmers fighting over land and faith in a country facing deep division. Clashes over grazing rights in Nigeria ratcheting up recently after Nomadic Muslim herdsman from the north started moving deep into the Christian southeast, competing with local farmers. More than 50 people were killed in April, when the Fulani Herdsman attacked a village and set a church on fire.
Reuters' Ulf Laessing is in the southeast of the country where the sectarian tension is on the rise.>> Many people have been killed and the locals accuse the Herdsmen, the Fulanis of having raided their villages and destroyed the church. And they're too afraid to go back to their farming lands, because of the worry of attack.
This struggle is part of a wider problem in Nigeria, where the population is growing. Nigeria has now 190 million people, inhabitants, and that number is set to reach 300 million by 2030. So this is conflict about resources. People come from the north where Boko Haram has devastated the northern part of the country and now seeking here grazing land in the south.
The locals feel alarmingly frustrated. They say that the government doesn't help them. The police doesn't arrest anyone. And many here in the southeast are calling for independence because they say it's the only solution for their problems.>> The Fulani community says it's clamping down on members who commit crimes.
It says they've often become victims themselves, of kidnapping, attacks, or cattle rustling. Many residence see the arrival of the Muslim Herdsmen as an invasion backed by President Muhammadu Buhari a Fulani himself, to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. The government denies these claims. Local officials though, accuse Buhari of not doing enough to stop the violence.
On Friday, the president said he'd ordered security agencies to deal with it decisively. But rights activists say he's underestimated the problem.