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Dan Kitwood/PA Wire
World News

Charity slams Christian 'land-grab' law in Nigeria

by Aaron James

International Christian Concern has said the Federal House of Representatives is debating a bill which would see the government buy up swathes of land from northern to mid-Nigeria, some of which would be owned by Christians, and given to nomadic Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

ICC reports Fulani herdsmen have murdered 500 Christians in 2016 alone, though the charity has said the travellers have displaced Christian farming villages since 2001.

The Global Terrorism Index found 81 percent of deaths in Nigeria's 'Middle-Belt' in 2015 were caused by Fulani militants.

It's unclear to what extent the clashes are fuelled by religious prejudice or disputes over land ownership.

The Plateau Youth G17 Peace and Progressive Forum has called the bill being debated by federal government "land grabbing under the guise of grazing reserve".

A spokesman told ICC: "Our communities have been ravaged by the Fulani militants and about thirty villages already forcefully occupied by them, and we are still being told to give land so that we are not killed?"

The Christian Association of Nigeria has called for politicians to scrap the bill which would redistribute land immediately.

The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (above), himself a Fulani, has already issued a military crackdown against the group.

He recently said on Twitter that the issue was of "great concern" to him.

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