A young man walks his cattle across parched and burned former farmland in South Sudan. In many parts of Africa access to grazing lang and water causes strife with locals. (Photo: Unicef)

More than 2 000 Nigerian villagers have reportedly been killed over the past year following attacks blamed on nomadic herdsmen.

The Assessment Capacities Project (Acaps), a humanitarian crises think tank, said that in 2016 alone, at least 800 people were killed in southern Kaduna and 1 269 in Benue State, where herders invaded at least 14 of the 23 local government areas (LGAs).

At least 200 people have been killed this year.

Since 2015, at least 62 000 people have been displaced in Kaduna, Plateau, and Benue states. Internally displaced persons sheltered in poor communities, placing additional strain on scarce resources.

At least 132 818 people are said to be facing food insecurity in Benue, 167 561 in Plateau and 212 348 in Kaduna.

Displaced communities were exposed to harsh weather conditions and in need of shelter due to the destruction of their houses.

Abduction and attacks have been reported for years with Fulani herders implicated. Many communities in affected states are living under the threat of severe insecurity.

It is feared the conflict, which was previously limited to the Middle Belt, may be spreading. “The humanitarian impacts are expected to worsen,” Acaps stated.

The Nigerian Army averted on Thursday what could have been another round of deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Bayelsa, in the south of the country.