Some of the weapons used in the conflicts between farmers and herders
in the country have been traced to Nigerian security agencies,
according to a report by Conflict Armament Research (CAR).
The international conflict research group said some of the weapons
were traced to “stockpiles of Nigerian defence and security forces”.
The report, which can be downloaded here, said 148 different weapons
were discovered and analysed, and those manufactured in Nigeria are
the second most prevalent among them.
“Predictably, given widespread weapon diversion from many governments
in the region, CAR has traced four weapons in the data set to the
stockpiles of Nigerian defence and security forces,” the report said.
“Nigerian-manufactured small-calibre ammunition—including cartridges
manufactured as recently as 2014—is the second-most prevalent type of
ammunition in this data set.
“Four of the weapons in the data set were previously in service with
Nigerian national defence and security forces. CAR has established
this through formal tracing and the analysis of secondary marks
applied to the weapons, which identify their users.”
At least 3,600 people have been killed in clashes between farmers and
herders as of 2018, according to Amnesty International, which blamed
the casualties on “gross incompetence” on the part of the authorities.
In some cases like in Plateau state where hundreds of lives have been
lost in violent clashes, the police and other security agencies arrest
suspects without prosecution.
The report, which focused on Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states, said
a study of the weapons in use shows the violence is “perpetrated
almost exclusively with small arms and light weapons”.
CAR said while some of the weapons used in the conflict are locally
manufactured, some originated in Gaddafi-era Libyan stockpiles, and
others produced in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East.
It also traced some of the weapons to terrorists and special forces in
Iraq and Libya.
Some of the key findings of the report are:
Groups involved in inter-communal herder–farmer conflicts in
northern and central Nigeria use some locally made artisanal weapons
(and) also use factory-produced weapons manufactured in Europe, East
Asia, and the Middle East.
field operations in three northern Nigerian states have commonalities
with small arms previously in service with national defence forces in
Côte d’Ivoire and with weapons that CAR has documented in Libya.CAR’s data set also includes Iraqi assault rifles manufactured in
1987 … terrorist groups have used weapons from the same batch in
successive attacks on security forces in Mali and Niger since 2016.