Nigeria: Who is behind Jos violence?

Hundreds were again killed over the weekend in ethnic violence around the city of Jos, in central Nigeria’s Plateau State, with corpses dumped into hastily dug mass graves. Christian members of Plateau’s leading ethnic group, the Beromas, were apparently by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who swept into their villages, putting homes to the torch and attacking the residents with rifles and machetes as they fled. In a telephone interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News , the Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, Anglican archbishop of Jos, said the attackers were “people who knew what to do and were trained on how to do it.”

In January, Rev. Kwashi argued in an essay for Christianity Today magazine, headlined, “In Jos We Are Coming Face to Face in Confrontation with Satan,” that the violence was not motivated by religious differences, writing: “those who have in the past used violence to settle political issues, economic issues, social matters, intertribal disagreements, or any issue for that matter, now continue to use that same path of violence and cover it up with religion.” (IRIN, The Lede blog [NYT], March 8)

See our last post on Nigeria.

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