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Fresh crisis in Benue claims 3, renders 760 homeless

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI—A fresh outbreak of communal crisis between the Nyieev and Uyougho communities of Kwande Local Government Council of Benue State have claimed the lives of three persons while over 760 persons have been displaced and rendered homeless.

An eyewitness told Vanguard that herds of refugees from the affected villages have taken over neighbouring towns and villages bordering the feuding communities while heavy fighting continued unabated.

According to our source, the renewed fighting in the area was sparked by allegations of land trespassing  traded by the warring communities, adding that the feuding communities accused each other of farming on disputed land which had hitherto claimed lives.

He intimated that the conflict has taken a dangerous dimension with the involvement of militia groups by both sides resulting in the use of dangerous weapons by the communities.

The renewed clash, which is about the fourth between the warring communities in recent time, has left the communities deserted with farmlands utterly destroyed by the rampaging fighters.

Our source further hinted that economic trees and huts have been torched by the fighters who are bent on establishing their authority over the disputed territory.

According to him, “At the time I fled my home to escaped with my dear life, heavy fighting was still going on and homes of some prominent indigenes of the area had already been reduced to rubbles with no end to the conflict in sight.”

Meanwhile, all attempts to reach the Kwande Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. Terlumun Akputu for his comments on the renewed crisis proved abortive.

Moreover, one of his Special Assistants told Vanguard that the Chairman has embarked on moves to permanently address the crisis in the area by personally assuming the position of a mediator in the conflict.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Samuel Jinadu informed that he was yet to get the full brief on the conflict.


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