USCIRF – Central and West Africa Fulani Religion Tensions Aggravated

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The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom or the USCIRF compiled and published a report on tensions of a religious nature in the Fulani communities in central and west Africa.

An escalation in violence in Fulani communities has been directly connected to religion in this area Africa, predominantly Muslim communities “with cattle herding and livestock rearing.” The Fulani are one of the largest ethnic groups internationally with members of the diaspora from Sudan to Senegal.

In a bidirectional experience of violence, they have been perpetrators of violence against civilians and civilian victims of violence in a number of countries.

“Although the extent to which religious ideology contributes to driving this violence remains a subject of debate, the trend of increasing violence by and against Fulani groups is clearly aggravating religious tensions in countries such as Nigeria and the Central African Republic, USCIRF, stated.

The reportage is mixed with noting religion as a factor in the violence after the fact while, at other times, noting violence coming from Fulani groups and then this “aggravating religion tensions in countries.”

The 2020 Annual Report of the USCIRF has designated Nigeria, in particular, as a Country of Particular Concern because of its “ongoing, systematic, and egregious religious freedom violations.”  The U.S. State Department made the formal recommendation of placing the Central African Republic on the Special Watch List as well.

With files from the USCIRF.

Photo by Lenny Miles on Unsplash

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