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West Africa's Fulanis face mounting pressures

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Subject

Problems facing Fulani communities in the Sahel.

Significance

In July, the Northern Elders' Forum of Nigeria, a prominent civil society organisation, called for Fulani herders to leave southern Nigeria and return to their historical homelands in the north, reflecting a sense among some northerners that the south has become too dangerous for the Fulani ethnic group. Amid a marked increase in jihadist violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria since the early 2010s, the Fulani have found themselves targets of widespread ethnic profiling and even collective punishment.

Impacts

  • Tensions surrounding the Fulani in Mali are spreading into Burkina Faso and Niger as community members feel stigmatised more generally.
  • Government will find it difficult to disarm former partner militias, such as the ethnic Dogon militia Dan Na Ambassagou in Mali.
  • Respect for human rights would help stem radical recruitment among young Fulanis.
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