Amnesty International, AI, has said about 371 people have been killed since January 2018 and many villages sacked in Zamfara State, as armed bandits hold sway in the state.
Isa Sanusi, the Nigeria spokesman of AI, in a statement on Tuesday said insecurity was escalating in Zamfara State, with daily killings and kidnappings by armed bandits leaving villagers in constant fear of attacks.
Sanusi quoted the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho as saying, “This is Nigeria’s forgotten conflict. The authorities’ failure to act has left villagers in Zamfara at the mercy of armed bandits, who have killed hundreds of people over the course of two bloody years.
“When we visited the region, villagers told us that they had pleaded with the government to help them after receiving warning letters from the bandits ahead of attacks but had received no protection.
“The Nigerian authorities have repeatedly claimed to be tackling the situation, but the mounting death toll tells a different story,” Ojigho said.
AI said on Friday July 27, 18 villages in the Mashema, Kwashabawa and Birane districts of Zurmi local government area of Zamfara state were attacked, leaving at least 42 people dead.
At least 18,000 residents of the affected villages, who were displaced over the weekend were taking refuge at various locations in the local government headquarters, the following day a further 15 people were kidnapped in Maradun local government area.
He said “Previous military interventions have failed to end the killings, especially in rural areas of Zamfara.”