At least 20 people have been reported killed and 300 cows stolen following a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence on the Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, local officials and residents confirm.
A fleeing resident, Saadu Mogoggo, who said his house was attacked at Leme suburb of Gembu, said two of his brothers were killed on Saturday evening and their cattle rustled by a group he identified as the Mambilla Militia. “As I am talking to you, we are yet to bury their corpses,” he said to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.
‘’The ethnic militias attacked our residence in Leme where they killed our father last month. During this attack, the Mambillas took away our over 100 cows. My two younger brothers reported the matter to a nearby military base and a soldier was attached as escort to retrieve the stolen cows. Unfortunately, in the process, my younger brothers were both killed while the soldier fled with injury,’’ he said.
Abdu Gagarau, another resident of the area who said he was speaking from hiding, said, “the burning and killing of the Fulani continued till early this morning. As I am talking to you now, from last Thursday they have been attacking our settlements and over 20 people killed. Some were buried and over 300 cattle stolen by the militias. The Mambila ethnic group are known for attacking other tribes. They attacked the Pansos in 1982, The Fulanis in 2002 and in 2017, when eventually we retaliate then the normal shouts of herdsmen will start. Let government be proactive and come to our rescue,’’ he said.
A Fulani community leader in the area, Ahmadu Nguroje, called for government and security intervention. ‘’At least 20 people are feared killed, looting of houses, shops and burning down to ashes by the Mambilla militias along Tapare and Yerimaru axis have been recorded here in Sardauna LGA of Taraba State. About 12 others were also wounded and are on admission at a hospital in Gembu,’’ he said.
The police spokesperson in the state, David Misal confirmed that four people were confirmed killed from both sides of the ethnic groups in the conflict. He added that security officials had been dispatched to the area to restore peace, but that no arrest had been made.