Nigeria: November 24, 2002


  The religious rioting in Kaduna have killed at least 200 people so far and the police and army are having a hard time controlling it. Over 5,000 refugees are homeless and at least 400 people are being treated for injuries at hospitals. 

So far, 12 of the 19 northern Moslem states have adopted Islamic Sharia law. But those states using Sharia have been reluctant to carry out the death sentence, and only seven thieves have had hands chopped off. The large Christian minority in the north has met violence with violence when Islamic radicals attempt to use force, or violent demonstrations, to encourage the use of Sharia law. The country has always been split in half by religion. Traditionally, better organized groups from the north provided the rulers of the country. But the money (oil fields) are in the Christian south and since the overthrow of the military dictatorship, southerners are running the national government. If it came to a civil war, the south would probably win, but the fighting would be very much driven by religious difference. Wealthy Moslem states in the Persian Gulf would get involved (with money, weapons and volunteers).


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