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Last updated: February 2019

[Security situation, 2.3.9, 3.2.2; Targeting, 3.7.2]

Among the non-State actors of persecution or serious harm, herders and farmers participating in armed groups have become increasingly relevant. Herders’ groups are mainly composed of Fulani Muslims, while the farmers are mainly Christian. The origins of the conflict are rooted in the difficulties to access natural resources such as water and land. Nowadays, it also has profound ethnic and religious implications and is becoming more politicised.

The conflict escalated in January 2018. In the first six months of the year, more than 1 300 fatalities and 300 000 people fleeing their homes have been reported. Severe violations of human rights are reportedly committed by both, herders’ and farmers’ groups, including massive killings and massive destruction of houses, crops, cattle, etc. Fulani herders are also reported to have committed rape, abduction, robbery, etc. The violence has affected numerous states across Nigeria, but in particular Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue.

In the context of the conflict between armed herder and farmer groups, both may be considered actors of persecution or serious harm.

The reach of a specific non-State actor and their ability to trace and target the applicant depend on the individual case. The individual power positions of the applicant and the actor of persecution or serious harm should be assessed, taking into consideration their social status, wealth, connections, gender, level of education, etc.

Finally, it should be noted that persecution or serious harm by non-State actors has to be assessed in light of the availability of protection according to Article 7 QD.