Death toll rises to ten in Jukun-Tiv crisis

The death toll in the bloody communal strife between Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups in Taraba and Benue States has risen to 10.

As at Thursday, the two tribes were still engaged in burning of houses, shooting and killing at the border towns between Wukari and Ukum Local Government areas.

An eyewitness, Terwase Kyado, said seven bodies were recovered in the bush near Tse Atsenge, which he said has been completely raised down.

Women with children on their backs were seen fleeing the troubled areas when The Nation visited.

56-year-old Tyohumba Dooga told The Nation he trekked 3 kilometers without water and food.

He said two of his brothers have been killed in the attacks when Jukun overran his community in Tse Atsenga and set the settlement ablaze.

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has sued for peace and understanding between Jukun and Tiv communities.

He condemned the conflict, which has led to death of some lives and destruction of property, rendering many homeless.

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He said he and his Taraba State counterpart, Darius Ishaku, have taken far -reaching measures to end the conflict and restore lasting peace to the border communities.

He appealed to the people of the affected communities to support the peace initiatives of governments of the two states to prevent further conflicts.

He urges Jukun and Tiv in particular to emulate the example set by their sons, the Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of the Catholic Diocese of Jos and Most Reverend Father James Bature whose peace building efforts have immensely contributed to settling the age-long rivalry between them across Taraba and Benue States.

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He said there is no alternative to peace, which was why he promptly directed his Adviser on Security to visit Taraba State shortly after the unfortunate incident where he held meetings with key stakeholders including the Aku Uka of Wukari, as well as Chairmen of Ukum (Benue) and Wukari (Taraba) local government areas.

He sympathised with victims of the crisis and assured security agencies have been directed to apprehend perpetrators of the violence for prosecution.

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