The United States condemned the attacks in Razat, Ruku, Nyarr, Kura and Gana-Ropp villages of Gashish District in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau state during which no fewer than 86 people were killed and several others injured.
The U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Ms Heather Nauert Said the perpetrators of the attacks should be brought to justice.
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of civilians and destruction of property in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region over the weekend.
“We are concerned by the recent increase in armed violence against civilians and call on all political and community leaders to lend their voices to peace and to work together to find lasting solutions to these rural conflicts.
“We join President Buhari and others in sending our deepest condolences to the affected communities, and in the desire to see the perpetrators brought to justice and to prevent further violence,” Nauert said.
Saturday’s mass killing of at least 86 people who were attending a funeral event in Plateau state was an act of revenge following an earlier attack, the cattle rearers’ group, Miyetti Allah, has said.
The state government has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in parts of the state, amid growing tensions between locals and migrant herdsmen community. Residents blame the attacks on Fulani herdsmen, a group represented by the Miyetti Allah.
On Monday, the chairman the north central chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Danladi Ciroma, condemned the attacks.
Mr. Ciroma however said in a statement that the attacks were “retaliatory”.
“These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission,” he said.
“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled.”
The police said the attacks occurred in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. It almost led to reprisal attacks by in Jos, the state capital, on Sunday, with the government imposing a curfew.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who condemned the attacks, describing the incident as “very painful and regrettable”, also blamed politicians for the massacre
Pam Chollom, a pastor of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN), who blamed the attack on armed herdsmen, said most of the victims were returning from the burial of a community leader.
The attacks have been widely condemned.
The Plateau state chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Nanyah Daman, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately replace all service chiefs.
“We strongly call on President Muhammadu Buhari who came on the mantra of Security,Corruption and Economic recovery to immediately sack and replace all the service chiefs and their paramilitary counterparts for allowing foreigners and the Fulani herdsmen terrorists to kill and maim defenceless children, women and men for four consecutive days unabated,” he said in a statement Monday.
The chairman of the northern zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Yakubu Pam, also condemned the killings.
The group called on the government at all levels to wake up to their primary responsibility of protecting the lives of citizens.