Conflict Briefing: Rise in Communal Conflict and Gang Violence in Cross River State

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Gang violence, and communal conflicts over land and boundary disputes have become prevalent in Cross River state. Farmland is a key resource that communities depend upon for subsistence and livelihoods. This has resulted in recurrent tribal and communal conflicts over land rights and access. In the last two decades, the state has been the site of several violent conflicts involving communities within the state, and others from neighbouring Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Benue states.

Additionally, for many years, Cross River was part of an extended territorial dispute between Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon over the Bakassi peninsula. Following a decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2002, full sovereignty over the peninsula was transferred to Cameroon in August 2008. The transfer of power to Cameroon resulted in the internal displacement of the Nigerian population of Bakassi, who were
subsequently resettled in communities in Cross River. The resettlement has led to ongoing conflict between the relocated populations and their host communities over social-economic issues.

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