18 Killed In Clashes Between Herders And Farmers In Benue

A file photo used for illustration only.

 

Eighteen people, including two policemen, were killed in intercommunal violence between nomadic herders and farmers in Benue State, officials said Thursday.

Violence broke out early on Wednesday when herders stormed Gbeji farming village in Ukum district, shooting indiscriminately, Paul Hemba, security adviser to Benue state governor said.

Disputes between cattle herders and local farming settlements over land, grazing and water rights are common in central and northwestern regions of Africa’s most populous nation.

“From the latest report I received, 18 people were killed in the attack, two policemen and 16 residents of the village,” Hemba said.

“Security agencies were alerted and they deployed in the affected area which helped in stopping the attack, otherwise the casualties would have been higher,” he added.


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Several other people were injured in the attack and were taken to local hospitals.

Benue state police commissioner Wale Abbas said the attack was a reprisal for the killing of five ethnic Fulani herders by locals in the area.

“The crisis started on Tuesday when five Fulani herdsmen were attacked and killed in three separate incidents and their cows rustled,” Abbas said.

He said he was preparing to summon a peace meeting between the herdsmen and the people in the area when he received reports that Gbeji had been attacked by herdsmen.

Abbas gave a lower death toll of 10, including a policeman, locals and herders.

“The dead policeman was hit by a stray bullet and died on the way to hospital,” Abbas said.

Security personnel were searching for the herders and locals accused of involvement in the clashes, he said.

Tensions between communities sometimes take on ethnic and religious dimensions in Nigeria which has dozens of ethnic groups and is almost equally split between the mostly Christian south and predominantly Muslim north.

Northwest and central Nigeria have also been hit hard by violence from criminal gangs called bandits by locals, who raid villages, killing and burning homes after looting them and carry out mass kidnappings for ransom.

AFP

32 Killed As Death Toll Continues To Rise In Libya Clashes

Damaged vehicles are pictured in a street in the Libyan capital Tripoli on August 27, 2022, following clashes between rival Libyan groups. TURKIA / AFP

 

Clashes between backers of Libya’s rival governments killed at least 32 people, the health ministry said Sunday in a new toll, after a battle that sparked fears of major new conflict.

Armed groups had exchanged fire that damaged several hospitals and set buildings on fire starting Friday evening, the worst fighting in the Libyan capital since a landmark 2020 ceasefire.

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A cautious calm had set in by Saturday evening, an AFP correspondent said.

The fighting came after months of mounting tensions between backers of Abdulhamid Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha, whose rival administrations are vying for control of the North African country which has seen more than a decade of violence since a 2011 uprising.

Dbeibah’s administration, installed in the capital as part of a United Nations-led peace process after the end of the last major battle in 2020, has so far prevented Bashagha from taking office there, arguing that the next administration should be the product of elections.

Bashagha was appointed by Libya’s eastern-based parliament earlier this year and is backed by powerful eastern military chief Khalifa Haftar, whose 2019 attempt to seize the capital by force turned into a year-long civil war.

Bashagha, a former interior minister, had initially ruled out the use of violence to take power in Tripoli but had since hinted that he could resort to force.

Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a Western-backed uprising, with myriad armed groups and foreign powers moving to fill the power vacuum.

Certain armed groups seen as neutral in the latest crisis had moved to back Dbeibah this weekend to push back Bashagha’s second attempt to enter the capital.

Both sides exchanged blame on Saturday while world powers appealed for calm.

The UN’s Libya mission called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities”, citing “ongoing armed clashes including indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighbourhoods”.

On Saturday evening, Dbeibah posted a video of himself surrounded by bodyguards and greeting fighters supporting his administration.

Dbeibah’s Government of National Unity said fighting had broken out after negotiations to avoid bloodshed in the western city collapsed.

Bashagha denied such talks had taken place, and accused Dbeibah’s “illegitimate” administration of “clinging to power”.

Local media reported later Saturday that a group of pro-Bashagha militias that had been making their way to the capital from Misrata later turned back.

Analyst Wolfram Lacher wrote on Twitter that Libya’s shifting alliances were “a never-ending story”.

“The armed groups that found themselves on the same side in yesterday’s Tripoli fighting will tomorrow clash over turf, positions and budgets,” he wrote.

“The factions that were pro-Dbeibah yesterday will challenge him tomorrow.”

18 Killed In Western DR Congo Clashes

(FILES) An Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldier takes part in a foot patrol in the village of Manzalaho near Beni, 2020.  Alexis Huguet / AFP

 

Eighteen people were killed in clashes between two communities in the western Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this month, according to a government report seen by AFP Sunday.

Fighting broke out between the Yaka and Teke people following a dispute over taxes and land, people in Mai-Ndombe province told AFP.

Members of the Teke community consider themselves the original inhabitants of villages spread over 200 kilometers (124 miles) along the Congo River.

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In early August there was knifepoint fighting with the Yaka community, who settled afterward, in the town of Kwamouth, about 100 kilometers from the capital Kinshasa.

“In the conflict between the Yaka and Teke in the province of Mai-Ndombe, 18 people were killed, including nine on the side of Yaka of Masia, including the chief of the land and his wife,” said Culture Minister Catherine Kathungu in the minutes of the Council of Ministers.

She added: “175 houses were burnt down and an AK47 weapon belonging to an element of the Congolese National Police was taken away by the Teke assailants”.

Rita Bola, the governor of Mai-Ndombe province, said Kwamouth was “calm now”.

“The army is now deployed all around to secure the population”, Bola said.

Members of the Yaka community had refused to pay a “customary royalty” to traditional Teke chiefs, said Abbe Felicien Boduka, president of the Justice and Peace Commission of the diocese of Inongo in Mai-Ndombe.

“We Yaka no longer wanted to pay this tax because the Constitution allows Congolese to settle freely anywhere on the national territory,” Gregoire Losoto, a development worker who abandoned his cassava fields and fish ponds in Kwamouth told AFP.

“The situation worsened in August because the Yaka installed their customary chief to replace a former Teke customary chief,” he said.

The Yaka chief and his wife were killed “by assailants”, according to several witnesses interviewed by AFP.

AFP

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian In West Bank Clashes

Palestinians burn tyres amid clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration in the village of Beita in the occupied West Bank, on November 14, 2021.  AFP

 

A Palestinian was killed Tuesday during dawn clashes with Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry and the Israeli army said. 

Saddam Bani Odeh, 26, died in hospital from a bullet wound to the lungs following the clashes on the road into the northern town of Tubas, the ministry said.

Israel’s army said that during an operation to arrest two “suspects” in Tubas overnight, “live ammunition was fired towards (Israeli) troops and an explosive device was hurled from a passing vehicle”.

“The troops responded with fire towards the suspicious vehicle,” the army statement said, adding that no soldiers were hurt but the military was “aware of reports that a Palestinian was killed.”

Clashes routinely break out in the West Bank when Israeli forces enter Palestinian-administered towns to make arrests or after demonstrations.

Excluding annexed east Jerusalem, around 475,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank regarded as illegal under international law alongside more than 2.8 million Palestinians.

Pope Francis Calls For End To Clashes In Jerusalem

File photo of Pope Francis delivering his message during a private Angelus prayer live broadcast from the library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. VATICAN MEDIA / AFP.

 

Pope Francis on Sunday called for an end to violence in annexed east Jerusalem, where clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police have left scores of Palestinians injured.

After delivering his Regina Caeli prayer from the window overlooking St Peter’s Square, the pope said he was “following with particular concern the events that are happening in Jerusalem”.

“I pray so that this might be a place of encounter and not violent clashes, a place of prayer and of peace,” he said.

“I invite everyone to seek shared resolutions so that the multi-religious identity and multi-culture of the holy city might be respected and so that fraternity might prevail.

“Violence only generates violence. Let’s stop these clashes.”

Tensions ran high Sunday in east Jerusalem after hundreds of Palestinians were wounded in a weekend of clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces, sparking global concern that the unrest could spread further.

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The violence around Jerusalem’s revered Al-Aqsa mosque compound and the Old City, mostly at night, is the worst since 2017, fuelled by a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem.

The pope also offered his prayers for the victims of the attack on Saturday on a school in Kabul, describing it as “an inhumane action that killed many girls as they were leaving school”.

“Let us pray for all of them and for their families, and that God might grant peace to Afghanistan,” he said.

A series of blasts outside the school during a peak holiday shopping period killed more than 50 people, mostly girl students, and wounded over 100 in Dasht-e-Barchi, a west Kabul suburb populated mostly by Hazara Shiites.

Finally, the Argentine pontiff offered some words for a small crowd of people bearing Colombian flags who had come to St Peter’s Square hoping for some reference to the demonstrations and clashes in their country.

“I would also like to express my concern for the tension and violent clashes in Colombia which have left many wounded. There are many Colombians here, let’s pray for your country,” he said.

 

Senate To Debate Farmers/Herders Crisis On Tuesday

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate.

 

The Senate will on Tuesday debate the clashes between farmers and herders clashes in several parts of the country.

Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi disclosed this on Monday while addressing journalists at his office in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Abdullahi said his deputy, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, who represents Ondo North in the National Assembly, will come up with a motion on the issue.

While noting that local political leaders should be encouraged to find a lasting solution, Abdullahi said the Federal Government has a role to play in resolving the crisis.

“With some kind of ethnic colouration of the herders/farmers clashes, urgent attention are required at various levels of government to prevent them from further escalation,” he said.

“These are kind of crises that must be addressed promptly and squarely in preventing ethnic entrepreneurs from hijacking the whole situation and putting the country in danger.

“There are existential issues that have set communities that have hitherto lived together peacefully, against each other either for political advantage or political matters.

“I think these are issues that should be resolved at the local level either through dialogue anchored on the spirit of give and take.”

The lawmaker said the Senate is worried by the security threats in the country, including armed banditry and Boko Haram insurgency.

He warned that if the issue remains unabated, there can’t be development where there is no peace.

On Senate confirmation of the ex-service chiefs as ambassadors, Abdullahi said the Senate would mandate its Committee on Foreign Affairs to deliberate on the issue.

“Communications for the confirmation would be read hopefully by the Senate president tomorrow and whatever happen we will pass it on to the committee on foreign affairs and then the committee on foreign affairs will now do its deliberation.

“I am not one under this situation to pre-empt whatever the committee is going to decide because the committee is made up of several responsible and experienced senators who have also been ambassadors themselves so they will know exactly what are required for people to be appointed as ambassadors to represent the country in whatever country.

“As leader of the Senate this will be brought to the floor of the Senate. The committee will do its work and after that they will bring the report to the Senate. I am sure all the questions will not escape the committee,” he added.

Ishaku Sets Up Commission Of Inquiry Into Clashes In Taraba

LG Funds: Ishaku Agrees With NFIU, To Reduce Political Appointees
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku.

 

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, on Monday constituted a commission of inquiry into the crisis between the Tiv and their neighbouring communities in the state.

He named Justice Kumai Bayang (rtd) as the chairman of the commission and Hamidu Audu as the secretary.

Its members are Justice Emmanuel Garba, Justice Ambrose Mammadi (rtd), Danjuma Rindam, Professor Rotgak Gofwen, and Professor Istifanus Zabadi.

The commission’s counsel, according to the governor, will be headed by Emeka Okoro.

He says the commission is to examine the remote and immediate causes of the crisis between the Tivs and people living in communities of Wukari, Takum, Donga, Ibi, Ussa, Gassol, and Bali Local Government Areas, among others from 1991 to date.

Also listed as part of its terms of reference is to identify the communities affected and the impact of damage caused, including lives and property lost.

Map of Taraba
A map of Taraba, a state in Nigeria’s North-East region.

 

Governor Ishaku also directed the commission to identify individuals or groups that might have instigated the crises and recommend appropriate sanctions where necessary.

He said the commission has three months to submit its report and asked it to assess the efficacy of the existing security arrangements in communities within the state and advise on improvement.

Another term of reference, according to the governor, is to examine and identify cases of banditry, kidnapping, and other vices related to or arising from within the border communities and their relationship with the crisis if any.

 

The commission is directed to also identify basic issues and causes of prolonged and perennial crisis between the warring communities and advise on the strategies for securing a lasting peace.

It is also to examine the roles state and local governments and other institutions and extant instruments or policy played to abate or facilitate the crises and recommend appropriate measures to be taken by the state government to forestall a future occurrence of the disturbances.

The commission is to examine other issues that may secure a lasting peace between the Tiv communities and their neighbours and recommend ways of effective reconciliation.

Stakeholders Adopt Community Policing To Resolve Clashes In Taraba

A file photo of a deserted community in Taraba State.

 

 

The crisis rocking the southern zone of Taraba State involving people of Jukun and Tiv, as well as other ethnic groups may soon be a thing of the past.

This is because the state government has adopted a community policing strategy to facilitate involvement and partnership with the police and other security agencies in crime prevention.

To set the ball rolling, the government inaugurated a 16-Member Community Policing Advisory Committee to ensure the full implementation of the programme.

The series of clashes in Taraba – such as Tivs and Jukuns, Yangdans and Fulanis, as well as Konas and Fulanis – have been characterised by deaths, destruction of properties, and displacement of residents who now take refuge in makeshift shelters across the state.

Despite efforts by the government to end the feud, the unending crisis between the Tiv and Jukun that has lasted over a year in the southern zone, and is now spilling to Bali Local Government Area in the central zone of the state.

The latest was a meeting of the heads of security agencies, traditional rulers, religious leaders, and civil society organisations, to embrace community policing as the best approach to end the age-long crisis among various tribes in the state.

At the meeting which held recently at the Government House in Jalingo, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, stated that the concept of community policing stood on a tripod.

According to Adamu who was represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Logistics and Supply), Aminchi Baraya, the tripod analogy involves inter-agency cooperation, problems solving, and intelligence-led policing.

On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Ahmed Azare, believes the concept of community policing has become a global model in policing and commended the success of the programme after years of foot-dragging.

He explained that community policing strategy in Nigeria has five components for effectiveness and ease of operation.

They include State Community Advisory Committee, State Community Policing Committee, Area Command Community Policing Advisory Committee, Local Government Community Policing Advisory Committee, and Divisional Community Policing Committee.

”The above sub-committees will be subsequently inaugurated by the State Community Policing Advisory Committee and will exercise the supervisory role to ensure the implementation of the community policing in Taraba State,” Azare stated.

He added, “The sub-committee will manage and coordinate community policing programmes, provide information and other resources to contribute to societal peace, and ensure that community policing takes its root and succeed in all communities in the state.”

The police commissioner insisted that community policing was a crime-fighting strategy whereupon the members of the community work in partnership with the police for effective policing of their areas or communities.

The philosophy of community policing, according to him, is geared towards encouraging and enabling communities to take greater responsibilities for their own safety and security, improve the cordial relationship with the police, and promote community involvement in the management of crime.

 

Eliminate Social Decay

For the state governor, Darius Ishaku, community policing is a milestone in the search for a workable home-grown solution to the agitation for regional or state policing or a call for another security outfit.

Represented by his deputy, Haruna Manu, he insisted that the step taken in adopting community policing in Taraba should be seen as one in the right direction.

The governor said, “This occasion is not only fundamental but timely as we seek robust ways of addressing the numerous security challenges facing our dear state.

”This advisory committee will no doubt help in reducing the tension associated with calls for different forms of security outfits by states.”

“As you are very much aware, Taraba State has of recent been faced with numerous security challenges ranging from armed banditry, kidnapping, herders and farmers conflict, as well as petty crimes to full-blown communal clashes that call for a new and radical approach towards finding a durable and acceptable peaceful resolution,” he added.

Governor Ishaku stressed that the adoption of community policing should be viewed as a fruitful partnership between communities and police to ensure early detection of the potential security threat from escalating out of proportion.

He added that it sought to engender trust and confidence in the police as truly the friend of the people, help keep the peace, promote safety and security awareness, gather intelligence, fight social vices, as well as settle civil disputes.

“The onerous task of ensuring peace, the security of lives and property of the citizenry can no longer be left with the police alone, as it requires the collective will of all communities to arrest and eliminate social decay in crime and other social vices that threaten the fabrics of the society,” the governor stated.

He, therefore, urged the police to be open and ready to work with the committee at all levels and view the committee as partners who would complement their crime-fighting and prevention capabilities.

The Community Policing Strategy Committee will be co-chaired by the police commissioner and Chairman of the Taraba State Traditional Council.

Residents are hopeful that the strategy will broaden the operational network of policing and make the society free of crime and criminality.

US, UK Warn Citizens Against Travelling To NE India After Clashes

Indian flag

 

Washington and London issued travel warnings for northeast India as opponents of a new citizenship law geared up for more protests Saturday, following days of clashes that saw two people killed and dozens injured.

Many in the far-flung, resource-rich region fear the new legislation will grant citizenship to large numbers of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, who they accuse of stealing jobs and diluting the region’s cultural identity.

No major incidents were reported overnight in Guwahati in Assam state, the epicentre of the protests, where two were shot dead and 26 hospitalised this week after security forces fired blank and live rounds, medical staff said.

The funeral procession of 18-year-old Sam Stafford, who was killed in the firing, took place on Friday and was attended by hundreds of angry and distraught mourners who shouted “Long live Assam” in Dispur, the state capital adjoining Guwahati.

“We were watching news all day on TV about the protests when my nephew left home in the evening. We asked him not to go but he went with his friends,” the student’s aunt Julie Stafford told AFP.

Authorities announced a curfew in place in Guwahati would be lifted from 9am to 4pm Saturday.

But some protest groups said they planned to defy the curfew with more demonstrations planned for the afternoon and evening.

Samujjal Bhattacharya from the All Assam Students Union, which has been at the forefront of the protests, told AFP the group would continue its fight against the new law “in the streets and in the court”.

‘Exercise caution’ 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe postponed a summit that had reportedly been due to be held in Guwahati from Sunday, and the United States and Britain warned their nationals to “exercise caution” if travelling to the wider northeast region.

Other smaller protests against the new law erupted elsewhere around India Friday, with riot police clashing with hundreds of mostly student protestors in New Delhi and demonstrators setting fire to buildings at a railway station in West Bengal, officials said.

Rallies were also held in Kerala and Karnataka in the south as well as in Modi’s home state Gujarat in the west.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) — approved this week — allows for the fast-tracking of applications from religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but not Muslims.

For Islamic groups, the opposition and rights organisations, it is part of Modi’s “Hindutva” Hindu nationalist agenda to marginalise India’s 200 million Muslims.

Modi denies this and says that Muslims from the three countries are not covered by the legislation because they have no need of India’s protection.

The passage of the bill sparked angry scenes in both houses of parliament this week, with one lawmaker likening it to anti-Jewish legislation by the Nazis in 1930s Germany.

The chief ministers of several Indian states — West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — have said they will not implement the law.

AFP

Hong Kong Police, Protesters Clash In 16th Weekend Of Rallies

Pro-democracy protesters surround policemen attempting to detain a demonstrator during a protest in Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun district on September 21, 2019. PHILIP FONG / AFP

 

Riot police and protesters in Hong Kong fought brief skirmishes near the Chinese border on Saturday, the latest clashes during huge pro-democracy protests that have battered the financial hub for more than three months.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at small groups of hardcore activists who had built barricades in the outlying town of Tuen Mun, some of them lobbing bricks and at least one Molotov cocktail.

Multiple protesters were seen being arrested in the clashes, which were less sustained than the intense battles of previous weekends.

The city has been convulsed by months of huge, sometimes violent rallies calling for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.

The movement is the biggest challenge to China’s rule since Hong Kong was handed back by Britain in 1997 and shows no sign of ending, with city leaders and Beijing taking a hard line.

Saturday’s clashes were the 16th straight weekend of protests and skirmishes.

In a now familiar pattern, the day began with a peaceful rally through Tuen Mun, a town in Hong Kong’s northwest, close to the border with mainland China.

At one point, a handful of protesters pulled down China’s flag flying outside a local government office and burned it.

Tensions soon spiked after police snatch squads rushed into a park where crowds had gathered and made a series of arrests.

Hundreds of hardcore activists then built barricades and dismantled nearby fences to arm themselves with makeshift clubs. Objects were also thrown onto nearby train tracks.

But protesters showed little appetite in holding ground, quickly retreating as soon as tear gas and rubber bullets were fired by police.

By Saturday evening, pockets of demonstrators and police were playing a familiar game of cat and mouse.

Calvin Tan, 22, was among those taking part in the rally earlier in the day.

He said most protesters were prepared for a “long term fight”.

“Every small protest matters, even though it doesn’t seem to help that much, it’s like each small step in a marathon,” he told AFP.

 ‘No choice’ 

Tan described himself as a moderate who avoids clashes with police. But he said he ideologically supports those on the frontlines.

“When facing institutional violence, we have no choice but to respond with street fights,” he said. “We have tried peaceful, rational and non-violent methods and continued using these ways to fight for our demands.”

Hong Kong has been plunged into crisis this summer.

The protests were ignited by a now scrapped plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian Chinese mainland.

But when local leaders and Beijing refused to budge it snowballed into a wider campaign for democracy, fuelled by animosity towards the police.

Protesters have hurled rocks, bottles and petrol bombs as well as used slingshots in their battles with police, who have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons with growing frequency.

On Friday Amnesty International released a report accusing Hong Kong’s police of using excessive force, in some cases amounting to torture.

The UN’s rights watchdog has also criticised the city’s police.

But the city’s force reject such criticism, saying their officers have used proportionate force against hardcore protesters who are showing increasing levels of violence.

At a briefing with foreign journalists on Friday, a senior commanding officer said he was alarmed by the latest tactics from protesters.

“Our officers are worried that… violence has got to such a level that they might have to kill someone or be killed themselves,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We have been so restrained but in the face of such violence, this pressure has become extremely dangerous.”

AFP

Police Fire Tear Gas As Clashes Return To Hong Kong Streets

Protesters reacts as Police fire tear gas towards them in Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong on August 24, 2019, during the latest opposition to a planned extradition law that has since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.  ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP

 

Hong Kong riot police on Saturday fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of stones, bottles and bamboo poles, in another tense bout of violence.

The city has been gripped by three months of street protests that started against a proposed extradition bill to China but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement.

An uneasy peace had descended this week but that was broken on Saturday as thousands of demonstrators — many wearing hard hats and gas masks — marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of officers with shields and batons outside a police station.

Frontline protesters pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles, spray-painting walls with insults directed at the police.

As the afternoon wore on some fired stones from slingshots, prompting a charge from police wielding batons and pepper spray.

Tear gas swept across the road as protesters retreated, leaving a trail of broken bottles and at least one small fire in their wake.

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Several of the black-clad protesters were detained as officers swept through, with police justifying their charge on “a large group of violent protesters” who had set fires and hurled bricks.

The city had appeared to have pulled back from a sharp nosedive into violence, with the last serious clashes taking place a week and a half ago just after protests paralysed the financial hub’s airport.

Tension flickered throughout Saturday’s march, where dozens of the most radical demonstrators known as “braves” had gathered, battle-hardened by a three-month street campaign.

“I understand being peaceful will not solve the problem,” 19-year-old student protester Ryan told AFP, giving one name.

“The government won’t respond to peaceful protest. If I am arrested it is because I come out to speak for justice.”

Hundreds of thousands marched peacefully last Sunday, as a key protest group sought to regain the moral high ground in a city shocked at the level of violence.

But Saturday’s face-off underscored the dangerous deadlock into which the city has sunk — with the government unmoving in the face of protester demands, and demonstrators stubbornly refusing to leave the streets.

China has used a blend of intimidation, propaganda and economic muscle to constrict the protests in a strategy dubbed “white terror” by the movement.

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has sacked staff over their political activities, while the MTR — the city’s metro operator — has been pilloried for closing stations after Chinese state-media accused it of offering an “exclusive” transport service to protesters.

 ‘No future’ 

Protests started against a bill that would have allowed extradition to China, but have bled into wider calls for democracy and police accountability in the semi-autonomous city.

Protesters say Hong Kong’s unique freedoms are in jeopardy as Beijing tightens its political chokehold on the city.

Soaring living costs and few job opportunities have also driven many of the mainly young protesters to the streets.

Hong Kong’s police force have become the target of the protesters’ ire for their perceived heavy-handed response to the months of demonstrations.

Scores of “braves” dug up bricks and tied metal barriers together a few hundred metres from the police as they appeared to dig in for more clashes.

Scuffles continued into the night including in the working-class district of Wong Tai Sin.

One frontline protester explained his motivation for joining the street struggle.

“The government chose not to solve the problem through communicating with the protesters,” Lueng told AFP.

“I don’t see our future facing this regime, so gradually I stepped closer and closer to the front line.”

Older Hong Kongers are divided on the motivation and tactics of the movement which has brought unprecedented chaos to a city once known for its safety and stability.

“The youngsters who come out have put their future at stake… they are doing this for Hong Kong,” 65-year-old Dee Cheung told AFP earlier, before explaining why he joined the protests.

“There might be some things we don’t agree with, like the ‘braves’ who tend to charge. But let’s think about why they do that?”

AFP

Jukun, Tiv Youth Leaders Disagree Over Taraba Clashes

The communal clashes in Taraba have continued to be a cause of worry for residents, even as the government continues to put measures in place to check the spate of attacks on communities in the state.

On Monday, the youth leaders of the two main ethnic groups in the state – Jukun and Tiv – appeared as guests on Sunrise Daily, Channels Television’s breakfast show where they disagreed over the clash.

Power Tussle

The Youth Leader of Jukun, Eric Yohanna, believes the communal clashes in the state are as a result of three major factors.

He said, “There is competition for land; secondly, competition for economic resources then thirdly, there is competition for political power.

“So, you can’t take these three items from what is happening there. The level that the crisis is going is taking totally a different dimension, more of political.”

According to Yohanna, the Tivs in the state are demanding for things that are not possible and the demands did not just emanate.

He explained that while the governor was already working persistently to resolve the matter, the said crisis at the Federal University, Wukari, did not happen at the institution.

“You can’t give a chiefdom where there is no documented evidence to show the existence of transferred chiefdom earlier on.

“The Jukun people that we are; we are peace-loving, we are well cultured, and we respect our elders and the norms of society. We are untouchable and undefeatable when it comes to war which is the historical background of the Jukun,” the Jukun youth leader said.

On ways to resolve the clashes, he insisted that the right thing to do was for the Tivs in Benue State to stay off Taraba.

Yohanna accused them of being the cause of the problem in the state, adding that they should allow the Tivs in Taraba to resolve their issues with their Jukun brothers.

Indigenes, Not Settlers

But the President of the Tiv Youth Council, Mike Muswan, disagreed with his counterpart and blamed the clashes on the Jukuns.

He alleged that the people of the opposite tribe have refused to accept the Tivs as residents of Taraba, rather than referring to them as settlers.

“The Taraba people must be able to acknowledge that the Tiv people are indigenes of Taraba state and not settlers. For a long time, Jukun people say Tiv people are settlers; so that is the major cause of that crisis.

“The attack comes up after every 10 years of census where they know that the Tiv people are coming to dominate the state. So their fear is that the Tiv people should not take over Taraba State,” Muswan said.

He also raised alarm about an alleged “systematic plan for killing” the Tiv people in Taraba, adding that it has been on record.

The youth president claimed that the entire Tiv community in Taraba were killed in 2001, alleging that some big political figures in the state were responsible for the killing.

“The only solution to this crisis is that the leaders of the Tiv and the Jukun must be sincere in solving this matter,” he said.