This edition of the weekly update spotlights emerging trends in the herder-farmer conflict in the Niger Delta with a focus on the criminal aspect of the conflict in Ondo State. According to data (see map below), the herder-farmer conflict caused over 40 fatalities in Ondo State between 2015 and 2020. Recent incidents indicate important changes in the context and undercurrents of the conflict, including the alleged involvement of some herders in kidnapping and banditry, and the emergence of self-help vigilante groups. The conflict has intensified since January 2021 when the government issued a quit notice to herders to vacate all forest reserves in the State. In February, 2021, for instance, herders reportedly abducted a farmer and killed a vigilante in Iju town, Akure North LGA. Separately, a farmer was reportedly killed by herders in Ajowa town, Akoko North-West LGA. Also, two people were reportedly killed during a clash between herders and local vigilantes along Ute road in Owo LGA. Recently, on February 13, 2021, three residents were reportedly killed during a clash between herders and farmers at Ijugbere in Owo LGA.
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