The Nigerian authorities provide two cows for each weapon returned to stop the bloody attacks

Authorities in Zamfara state, in northwestern Nigeria, pledged on Thursday to offer two cows for every weapon returned in an attempt to stop the bloody attacks by criminal gangs.

"For every rifle provided by a penitent thief, he will receive compensation from two cows," said Zamfara Governor Belo Mataawali.

For years, isolated communities in the area have been targeted by armed groups that include hijackers and thieves on motorbikes.

According to Mataawali, this show aims to persuade gangsters known as "bandits" to surrender their weapons.

So far, the authorities have intensified their military and peace negotiations to end the killings, to no avail.

Currently, there is no indication that this strategy is sufficient to get the bandits, who are mostly Fulani herders, to give up their lucrative activities in cattle rustling and kidnappings for ransom.

Since 2011, nearly 8,000 people have been killed and about 200,000 have fled northwest Nigeria due to the unrest that experts attribute to overcrowding and climate change.

President Muhammad Bukhari pledged to end the killings after the escalation of attacks in the neighboring state of Katsina.

In the face of repeated cattle rustling, some local residents have formed groups to defend themselves and have been charged with extrajudicial killings.


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