NIGERIA

 NIGERIA - Alarm of Christian leaders: violence mainly affects women, children and the elderly

Jos (Agenzia Fides) - About 6 thousand people, especially women, children and the elderly, of families of Christian farmers were brutally mutilated and killed in night raids by Fulani armed herdsmen, starting from January 2018 (see Fides 19/9/2018): this is the alarm spread by Christian leaders in Nigeria. "What is happening in the Plateau state and in other states of Nigeria must be stopped immediately", says the warning launched by the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Nigerian Plateau state. In a note sent to Fides, Church leaders urge the Nigerian government "to stop this senseless and cruel bloodshed and avoid the state of complete anarchy where people are forced to defend themselves".

"We are particularly concerned about the widespread insecurity in the country, fueled daily in our communities by assaults and murders perpetrated by herdsmen, bandits and armed terrorists", the appeal said. The period in question regards the violent attacks registered in the raids carried out by Fulani ethnic herdsmen, against local farmers near the city of Jos at the end of June, mostly Christians.

Although many people qualify homicides as a conflict over land property among different groups and as "clashes between herdsmen and farmers", Church leaders also note the increased value of the religious factor, because "Christian communities are continually attacked".

According to the NGO "Intersociety", a total of 2,000 Christian farmers have been killed in Nigeria in 2018, both by Fulani herdsmen and by Boko Haram radicalists.

Source:  fides.org

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