Women and children continue to be the target of violent attacks a year after the massacre of more than 400 Christians in Dogo Nahauwa, Zot and Ratsat villages in Jos South, Nigeria.
The slayings were by armed Fulani men on March 7 2010.
According to a news release by human rights organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), despite a heavy security presence in the area, entire families were murdered, using tactics that have since become the hallmark of attacks on non-Muslim villages.
CSW said villagers were woken in the early hours of the morning by gunfire and shouting, before homes were set on fire and victims hacked with machetes. Women and children were specifically targeted, a trend which has become more widespread in the past year.
On that occasion, CSW said, the army was slow to respond with assistance, leading some victims to question their commitment to tackling the violence. Unfortunately, confidence in the security services has continued to plummet as attacks regularly occur in villages within close proximity to military outposts.
CSW said concerns of possible collusion in the violence by some parts of the army have grown, following increasing reports of attackers dressed in military uniform or driving military vehicles, and the discovery of military ID, bullet shells and uniform at some of the crime scenes.
This year alone, CSW said, violent night-time attacks on villages and university and college campuses in Plateau State, have left over 50 people dead.
CSW’s National Director Stuart Windsor said in a news release, “It is a sad indictment of the political will to tackle the violence in Plateau State that attacks are still occurring with alarming regularity, and in some cases on villages in close proximity to army barracks. In addition, the continuing targeting of women and children is an extremely sinister development that must not be allowed to continue.”
He added, “On this sad anniversary CSW takes the opportunity to call once again on the Nigerian authorities to take robust and effective action to bring a definitive end to this violence, to track down the perpetrators and masterminds of these actions, and to bring them swiftly to justice.”
Christian Solidarity Worldwide works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.
For further information, visit www.csw.org.uk.
|Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “Homeless in the City.”
Additional details on “Homeless in the City” are available at http://www.homelessinthecity.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.