Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.
The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.
“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.
But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.
The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.
“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.
“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.
“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”