Religious violence is horrible. Killing innocents cannot be condoned. The Jihadists are giving Islam a bad name. Moderate muslims should speak out more. Same as in other religions, ignoring the problem or keeping quiet harms the remaining good people and encourages the extreme elements.
JOS, Nigeria (AFP) – Fresh violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria left one person dead and another seriously wounded on Sunday, a day after three others were killed, witnesses said.
Sunday’s attack in the flashpoint city of Jos in central Nigeria led to streets being quickly deserted as residents fled, while the state government pleaded for calm.
An army source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the killing.
According to witnesses, including an AFP journalist, the violence broke out as young Fulani Muslims were returning from the morgue where they went to retrieve the bodies of those killed the previous day for burial.
As they returned, they used machetes to kill a Christian who was passing and wounded a second, the witnesses said.
Officials had not confirmed the witnesses’ account.
Security forces earlier Sunday said they had arrested 15 suspects following Saturday’s killing of three Muslim Fulani herdsmen near Jos.
The Muslim Fulani herdsmen died in attacks believed to have been launched by Christian ethnic Beroms in the village of Tsung, just days after authorities lifted a curfew in the area.
The three were reportedly searching for lost cattle about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Jos when dozens of youths murdered them before setting the bodies on fire.
“We will arrest more people. Those arrested are helping us with our investigation,” Colonel Kayode Ogundele, the operations director of a special military unit in central Plateau State, told AFP.
“For sure, those found to have had a hand in the incident will face the law.”
But an Islamic organisation in the area, the Jamatul Nasri Islam, condemned Saturday’s killings and accused the government of not doing enough to end violence in Plateau State, where Jos is located.
“The government of Plateau State is not sincere, not serious and not willing to bring an end to this crisis…,” said the group’s lawyer, Ahmed Garuba.
Plateau state government spokesman Geoffrey Yenlong called for calm and restraint.
“I urge citizens of Plateau State, particularly the Fulani, to exercise restraint in this trying moment,” he said in a statement.
Muslim herdsmen from the Fulani and Hausa ethnic groups launched attacks on five Christian Berom villages in March, killing more than 500 people, state officials say.
Local rights groups say 1,500 people have died in inter-communal violence in the Jos region since the start of this year alone.
Christian and Muslim leaders in Plateau have both argued that the unrest owes more to the failure of political leaders to address ethnic tensions than to inter-faith rivalries.
Appeals For Calm After Nigerian Sectarian Slaughter (Aminu Abubakar/Yahoo News/AFP; Mar 8)
JOS, Nigeria: UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Washington led calls for restraint on Monday after the slaughter of more than 500 Christians in Nigeria, as survivors told how the killers chopped down their victims.
Funerals took place for victims of the three-hour orgy of violence on Sunday in three Christian villages close to the northern city of Jos, blamed on members of the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group.
While troops were deployed to the villages to prevent new attacks, security forces detained 95 suspects but faced bitter criticism over how the killers were able to go on the rampage at a time when a curfew was meant to be in force.
Media reported that Muslim residents of the villages in Plateau state had been warned by phone text message, two days prior to the attack, so they could make good their escape before the exit points were sealed off.
Survivors said the attackers were able to separate the Fulanis from members of the rival Berom group by chanting ‘nagge’, the Fulani word for cattle. Those who failed to respond in the same language were hacked to death.
One local paper said the gangs shouted Allah Akhbar (God is Great) before breaking into homes and setting them alight in the early hours of Sunday. Churches were among the buildings that were burned down….
The death toll was initially put at a little over 100 but then shot up. The information ministry said pregnant women were among those killed and around 200 people were being treated in hospital.
“We have over 500 killed in three villages and the survivors are busy burying their dead,” said state information commissioner Gregory Yenlong.
“People were attacked with axes, daggers and cutlasses — many of them children, the aged and pregnant women.”
Much of the violence was centred around the village of Dogo Nahawa, where gangs set fire to straw-thatched mud huts as they went on their rampage.
The explosion of violence is the latest between rival ethnic and religious groups. In January 326 people died in clashes in and around Jos, according to police although rights activists put the overall toll at more than 550. [See the entry and links I posted on Jan 19 for more details.]
“The attack is yet another jihad and provocation,” the Plateau State Christian Elders Consulatative Forum (PSCEF) said….
A curfew imposed after January’s unrest is supposed to be still in place but Christian leaders said the authorities did nothing to prevent the bloodshed.
The PSCEF said it took the army two hours to react from the time a distress call was put through and “the attackers had finished their job and left”….
Rights activists said the slaughter appeared to be revenge for the January attacks in which mainly Muslims were killed….