Villagers Plead for Government Protection after Series of Attacks
11/17/2016 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on Sunday, November 13, Fulani militants, reportedly numbering 200, attacked four villages in the Kauru local area of Nigeria’s Kaduna State. Over 34 predominately Christian villagers were murdered, including men, women, and children, some of whom were burnt beyond recognition. Approximately 100 houses and other properties, including churches, were also destroyed.
While speaking with ICC on November 16, Yohanna Gandu, an official of the Chawai Community Development Association, said, “We did mass burials today in two locations. The attackers came over the hills from the direction of Ganawuri (a community in neighboring Plateau State), first in two groups then converged into one, firing gun shots and moved in on the cluster of villages.”
The names of the villages that were attacked are: Kitakum, Kigam, Angwan Rimi, Angwan Magaji and Angwan Makera. An estimated three to four thousand people have also been displaced following the attack. A military detachment arrived and engaged the militants. However, their arrival was late and much of the destruction had already occurred.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union issued a press statement saying, “Once again we are faced with another round of unprovoked killings. It has now become abundantly clear to even the worst skeptics that Southern Kaduna has become a killing field, where genocide is taking place unabated.”
The Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union went on to insist that the Nigerian government was not doing enough to protect lives and properties. They said, “The unprovoked massacre of the peace loving, law abiding villages of Kizakoro District, Chawai Chiefdom in Kauru Local Government is a clear proof that our people have more than ever before become endangered. The terrorists have been having a field day from village to village; District to District; Chiefdom to Chiefdom and now the entirety of Southern Kaduna is under siege, under attack, under threats of annihilation.”
Hundreds of people have been killed by Fulani militants in the Nigerian central region also known as the Middle Belt. According to a report by World Watch Monitor, in the period between January 2013 and May 2016, 826 Christians were killed and 878 injured. There were also 102 churches destroyed or damaged, making the Fulani militant attacks one of the deadliest assaults on Christian communities in the world.
Sara Solomon, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The Fulani militants’ attacks can no longer be regarded as isolated tribal conflicts over land. These Fulani militias have adopted an Islamic extremist narrative, not unlike Boko Haram, in spite of false reports used to justify mass killings. A massive assault on the Christian farming community in Nigeria’s Middle Belt is taking place and it is our prayer at ICC that both the Nigerian government as well as the international community will start taking action to diminish the deadliness of this conflict and ultimately resolve the senseless violence that has already affected countless lives throughout Nigeria.”