Date: October 1, 2020
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report on religious tensions and Fulani communities in west and central Africa:
West and Central Africa Factsheet – This factsheet explores the role that religion plays in escalating violence committed by and against Fulani communities in west and central Africa. Predominantly Muslim and historically associated with cattle herding and livestock rearing, Fulani communities – one of the largest ethnic groups in the world – stretch across the African continent from Senegal to Sudan and have been both the victims and perpetrators of violence against civilians in many countries in recent years. Although the extent to which religious ideology contributes to driving this violence remains a subject of debate, the trend of increasing violence by and against Fulani groups is clearly aggravating religious tensions in countries such as Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
In its 2020 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S State Department designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its ongoing, systematic, and egregious religious freedom violations. USCIRF also recommended that the State Department place the Central African Republic on its Special Watch List (SWL).