Benue State Prepares for Second Mass Burial of Victims Killed by Fulani Militants
Second Mass Burial in State over Past Two Months
03/12/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that an attack by Fulani militants took place on Monday, March 5, in Olosu village of Benue State, Nigeria. This attack took place just a few weeks after Benue, a predominantly Christian state, held a mass burial of 75 Christians who were murdered by Fulani militants. The state is again preparing to bury another 25 Christians, mainly women and children, who were killed by Fulani militants.
Confirming the attack, a government official from the area disclosed that Fulani herdsmen had accused youth in the area of killing their cows. While the chairman of the local council called for a meeting of representatives of the parties to discuss and facilitate reconciliation, the militants attacked the villages, “going from house to house and killing mainly women and children.” Twenty-five Christians were killed, while several others were injured and are now receiving treatment in local hospitals. The militants are believed to have come from Kogi State, which shares a boundary with Benue.
Lamenting the continued killings in Benue by Fulani militants, a prominent Christian leader in the area, Dr. Sam Abah, said, “It’s another massacre! It’s unbelievable! It’s mayhem! The herdsmen claimed two of their cows were wounded. Do you then kill 24 people because of two wounded cows!?” Dr. Sam said the herdsmen do not really need a provocation to kill. “Usually, they just bring up anything to find reason to kill innocent people. The law says go to the police and report any such infractions. They didn’t do that. They burnt houses, they looted the farms, they raped women. All they want is for the people to move so they can occupy. They use their militia to clear the areas then bring in more herdsmen to occupy. The pattern is the same.” The 25 killed in Olosu will be given a mass burial on Thursday, March 15, 2018, according to the government official.
The most recent devastating attacks by the militants in Guma and Logo Local Council Areas of Benue State displaced approximately 170,000 people who are currently dispersed among various internally displaced persons (IDP) camps throughout the state. Even more disturbing is the fact that this latest attack on Olosu village comes when the Nigerian military is conducting an ongoing operation in the state to stop these types of attacks. This casts further doubts on the sincerity and genuine commitment of the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, and his military advisors to protect the lives and property of Nigeria’s citizens.
ICC’s Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, “The government in Nigeria has long shown its inability or lack of desire to truly stop these attacks. In order to prove their dedication to their people, they must do three things. They must reclaim lands taken by these militants and return them to their rightful owners. Then, they must rebuild the communities that have been destroyed. Finally, they must protect their villages and people by stopping the attacks and prosecuting those who commit them. Only then will this country be freed from this violence.”
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org