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Police and security officials in Nigeria have confirmed that an estimated 80 people have been killed in communal violence since Dec 31st. The clashes are mostly between Muslim cattle herders and Christian farmers over the use of land in parts of the Middle Belt — the country’s most diverse region.
The announcement came shortly after Nigeria’s President Buhari decreed the increased police presence in the Benue State. Similar clashes have taken place across central states in the country, polarizing Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines, and challenging Buhari’s promise to bring security and stability to the country — a central pledge of his 2015 campaign.
The increased clashes have been fueled by the suspicion that has increased between Christians and Muslims mainly catalyzed by Boko Haram’s atrocities.