Dozens of children orphaned following Fulani attacks on Kaduna/Plateau border

 

Around 60 children below the age of 10 have lost parents following attacks on Irigwe communities living on the border of Southern Kaduna and Plateau State. Over one week in February nine villagers were killed, according to the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN).

 

ECCVN said five men aged between 32 and 50 from the villages of Kishisho and Zirshe in Kauru local government authority (LGA) Kaduna, and Bassa LGA, Plateau respectively, died after being attacked by militiamen on 7 February. 

 

“We were on surveillance, watching our surroundings when we heard sporadic gunfire in Kigam, a nearby village,” reported a survivor, Dennis Habila. “We advanced, unaware that armed Fulani had already laid ambush along the Kishisho-Kigam bush path. At a distance of just a few metres, they opened fire on us, killing five of our people.” 

 

Among the dead were Danlami Sunday, 35, a father of four children, the youngest just three weeks old.

 

“He told me there was gunfire in the neighbouring village of Kigam, and that he would have to go out to ensure our village was not attacked too. But he never return as promised,” recounted his heartbroken widow, Janet Danlami.

 

Tragically, Danlami Sunday’s father was also a victim of armed Fulani militias who attacked Kigam and another Irigwe village on 13 November 2015 leaving close to 50 dead.

 

On 14 February, ECCVN reported that a further four people were confirmed dead after Zirshe was invaded for the second time in a week by suspected Fulani militants who opened fire on residents and torched houses.

 

The latest killings have deprived families of their main breadwinner and left many children fatherless. These children now face an uncertain future after their education was disrupted.

 

Over 60 children from the affected villages have been transferred to camps for the internally displaced alongside their mothers where they are living in precarious conditions and in urgent need of food, according to ECCVN.

 

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