Published October 25, 2013 | By Nate Haken*
Plateau state stretches along Nigeria’s Middle Belt region. Its estimated population of 3.2 million is diverse with over 40 ethno-linguistic groups. The dominant occupations are subsistence farming and pastoral grazing, although mining is also carried out in the tin rich state. Historically, Plateau has been a tourist and retreat destination due to the pleasant weather and scenic vistas. However, inter-communal violence has escalated in recent years. In 2008, local government election violence led to the deaths of hundreds. In 2010, hundreds more were killed after ethnic riots broke out in the capital city of Jos. Much of the violence in Plateau is between those considered to be indigene (many of whom are Christian farmers) and those considered settlers (many of whom are Muslim pastoralists).