Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has called for calm after 86 people were killed in clashes between mostly Muslim herders and Christian farmers in the central Plateau State.
Buhari vowed Sunday that “no efforts will be spared” to find the attackers and prevent future attacks.
While the statement from his office did not specify a death toll, state police commissioner Undie Adie said “86 persons altogether were killed” in the attacks that began Thursday.
Adie said six other people were injured and 50 houses were destroyed.
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong announced a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in the communities of Jos South, Riyom, and Barkin Ladi. It “is in effect until further notice,” he added.
The long-running battles for land resources between the herders and farmers in Africa’s most populous country could prove deadlier than the Boko Haram extremist insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000 people in less than a decade.
Nigeria is mostly split along religious lines with Muslims in the North and Christians in the South.
The Boko Haram insurgency and climate change are forcing the herders to move south in search of safe grazing lands, prompting clashes fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances.