Nigeria: Slaughter Of The Innocents

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March 11, 2010: About a thousand people have died from tribal violence in central Nigeria so far this year. The violence has caused over three thousand such deaths in the area over the last decade. The violence is caused by a combination of tribal, religious and economic disputes. The growth of Islamic radicalism in the last few decades has not helped, nor has rapid population growth in the past few decades, which has made land ownership or use disputes more frequent, and bloody. In the wake of the March 7 massacres, Christian mobs are forming in the city of Jos, seeking more revenge. Additional police and soldiers have been sent in to keep armed Christians and Moslems apart. Hundreds of arrests have been made in the search for those responsible for the March 7 killings. The security forces will be able to calm things down, as they have done in the past. But the fundamental causes are still there, and the violence will eventually break out again.

President Umaru Yar'Adua has been back from Saudi Arabia for a week now, but he has not appeared in public. Even vice president Goodluck Johnson has not been able to see Yar'Adua. The presidential handlers announced that Yar'Adua was resuming presidential power. But Yar'Adua is apparently still incapacitated by his heart condition. The parliament, army and courts back the vice president. In an attempt to get to Yar'Adua, the vice president is dismissing pro- Yar'Adua officials.

March 7, 2010: Hundreds of Moslem men, armed with machetes, axes, knives and bows, attacked Christian villages outside Jos, in central Nigeria. The attacks were at night, and the attackers had the advantage of surprise. Over 500 men, women and children were slaughtered. Thousands more were able to flee the killers. The attacks were revenge for Moslems killed in religious violence in February and January.

 


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