On Life, love and Politics

"Random musings about Life, love and Politics. Just my open diary on the events going on in the world as I see it."

Nigeria: 49 people charged over Jos killings March 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kikenileda @ 8:24 AM

Over 49 people totalling 200 arrested during the killings near the city of Jos in Nigeria are to be charged with murder after communal violence that left scores of villagers dead. According to police, 109 Christians and 300 Muslims died in bloodshed totalling to about 500 people in the killings.

nigeria map

In Nigeria's central Plateau State, Christians occupy mainly south and Muslims taking the north. Although the violence takes place largely between Muslims and Christians, analysts say the underlying causes are economic and political.

A survivor in the village of Dogo Nahawa, near the city of Jos, said he heard his neighbours scream as they were attacked.

"I went to my neighbour's house. I saw all the wives; they killed them, cut their bodies, put fire on them. And the babies. They killed all the children," Pepi said, according to the BBC.
Gabriel, the community leader, said his five-year-old granddaughter had been hacked to death with a machete by Fulani-speaking men who had started shooting a heavy machine gun to scare the residents into the open.

"The shooting was so heavy that people were afraid. People were running helter skelter because… they had never heard something like this before. [They] ran into them, and they were machete-ed."

However, international pressure is growing on the Nigerian government to take further action.

On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI denounced the bloodshed as "atrocious".

He urged civil and religious leaders "to work towards security and peaceful co-existence".

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions called on the Nigerian government to "move swiftly" to prevent further attacks.

Earlier, the governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, said security lapses had worsened the carnage in the three villages targeted.

He said he had warned the army about reports of suspicious people with weapons hours before they attacked, but they failed to take action.

"Three hours or so later, I was woken by a call that they [armed gangs] have started burning the village and people were being hacked to death," Mr Jang said.

"I tried to locate the commanders. I couldn't get any of them on the telephone."

The UN commission say 500 died but state police commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba says 109 people are known to have died.


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