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West Africa's Fulanis face mounting pressures

Thursday, August 1, 2019


Problems facing Fulani communities in the Sahel.


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.


  • 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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