Army launches Operation Cat Race in Benue, Taraba to end herdsmen crisis

Troops will engage in raids, cordon and search operations, road blocks, show of force and checkpoints.

The Nigerian Army has announced that it will commence Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in six states across the country to combat a series of criminal activities including clashes between herdsmen and farmers that have left scores dead.

This was disclosed by the Chief of Training and Operations, Major-General David Ahmadu, on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai.

Maj-Gen Ahmadu said the exercise will run from February 15 to March 31, 2018 in Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states.

Troops will engage in raids, cordon and search operations, road blocks, show of force and checkpoints to combat criminal activities in the affected states.

Exercise Ayem Akpatuma translates to "Cat Race" in the Tiv language.

Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and Kaduna have witnessed violent deaths in recent weeks in attacks allegedly orchestrated by herdsmen in a battle for resources that has escalated.

Benue and Taraba attacks

In attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of Benue between Sunday, December 31, 2017, and Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 50 people were reportedly killed.

11 other people were killed in a fresh attack on Tombu village of Logo LGA, again by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Saturday, January 6, 2018.

The bodies of 73 men, women and children were buried at a mass burial ceremony organised by the state government on January 11.

At least 55 people in Taraba State were reported to have been killed by Fulani herdsmen in Lau Local Government Area of the state.

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