300 houses burnt in fresh Jukun/Tiv crisis

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About 300 houses have been set ablaze in the latest of the clashes between the Jukun and the Tiv in Taraba State.

Jukun militants are suspected of attacking a Tiv village – Tor-Damsa, in Donga local government area- in the early hours of Saturday.

But a Tiv activist in the state, Stephen Butu has urged calm, warning against reprisals by the Tiv.

Butu asked the Tiv to support Governor Darius Ishaku in resolving the age-long crisis between the two ethnic groups.

Eyewitnesses said thousands of people have been rendered homeless in the aftermath of the attack.

Terkuma Tsetim, a resident of the affected community, claimed that the attackers numbering 500 wore military uniform.

Hundreds of lives have been lost and property estimated at billions of naira destroyed in the recurring clashes.

Private and public schools, health facilities and places of worships are not spared.

The Federal University, Wukari was recently shut down when the violence spilled to the campus.

The major cause of the crisis is the claim by the Jukun that the Tiv are “settlers,” in Taraba State, and therefore, have no ownership right to the land they occupy and should leave.

Governor Darius Ishaku, though Jukun, does not share the view.

“Tiv have been in Taraba for long. They are indigenes and that is why I appointed them as commissioners, special advisers and senior aides in my cabinet,” he said recently.

Butu hailed Ishaku for his “bold and honest pronouncement,” and asked the Tiv to support the governor in his peace efforts.

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