Army confirms killing of 30 as rival Benue militia groups clash

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The Nigerian Army has confirmed the killing of 30 rival militia groups in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State, just as it denied that the killings were herdsmen-related. The Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke and Chairman of the Open Grazing Prohibition Enforcement Committee, Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia, made the clarification at a briefing on Wednesday as the state began the enforcement of the ban on open grazing, given the expiration of its two-week ultimatum.

While acknowledging the killings in Ukum, he said the military clearance operations against terrorists in the Kwande Local Government Area has been decisive as peace has returned to the lock government where over 27 persons were reported killed in two weeks. From Ukum to Kwande local government areas to Apa- Agatu and Otukpo local government areas, farmers have come under heavy attacks with many killed within the last two weeks, including soldiers.

But the Benue State Government and the security agencies have come to the conclusion that all arm-bearing herdsmen and those engaging in open grazing must stop forthwith or face the consequences. This was the position of the enforcement committee on open grazing prohibition led by the Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke.

Also, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Sam Ode, warned that the grace period granted herdsmen has ended just as the Commissioner For Justice & Attorney General of Benue State, Fidelis Mnyim, issued fresh directives on the position of the law on the matter.

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