Affrontements meurtriers à Jos au Nigeria – mars 2010

Massacres interethniques au Nigéria : peut-être 500 morts

TF1 News

08 mars 2010

D’après les survivants, des paysans musulmans de l’ethnie Haussa-Fulani ont attaqué plusieurs communautés villageoises chrétiennes dans le centre du pays.

Des affrontements entre musulmans et chrétiens dans le centre du pays on fait plus  de 500 victimes. La localité de Dogo Nahawa, située juste au sud de la ville de Jos, capitale de l’Etat du Plateau, a été attaqué vers 03h00 du matin par des paysans musulmans de l’ethnie Hausa-Fulani qui ont tiré en l’air pour faire sortir des villageois chrétiens et les massacrer à coups de machette, ont raconté des survivants. Au moins deux autres communautés des environs ont également été attaquées, dans un secteur proche de celui où des affrontements intercommunautaires avaient fait des centaines de morts en janvier, a déclaré un responsable de la Croix-Rouge. Un correspondant de Reuters qui s’est rendu dans la région a recensé plus de 120 corps, mais un responsable de l’Etat du Plateau, Gregory Yenlong, a déclaré que plus de 500 personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants, avaient péri.

Le président du pays par intérim, Goodluck Jonathan,  a placé les forces de sécurité en état d’"alerte rouge" pour empêcher que les Etats voisins de celui de Jos ne soient en proie à des représailles."Les informations qui nous parviennent font état de bandes qui ont lancé une série d’attaques contre des communautés de l’Etat (de Jos), faisant un nombre considérable de morts et de blessés", a fait savoir la présidence. "Le président par intérim a ordonné aux forces de sécurité de prendre des mesures pour retrouver et mettre en déroute les bandes d’assassins qui rôdent", a-t-elle ajouté.

Un pays traditionnellement instable

Ces violences, qui s’ajoutent à une longue liste d’affrontements déclenchés en 2000 par les efforts d’Etats du Nord pour imposer la charia, tombent mal pour le président intérimaire Goodluck Jonathan. A un an de l’élection présidentielle, celui-ci s’efforce en effet d’asseoir son autorité sur un pays traditionnellement instable, alors que le président en titre, Umaru Yar’Adua, est rentré d’Arabie Saoudite après trois mois de soins, ce dernier ne semble toujours pas en mesure de reprendre les commandes du pays.

En janvier, les autorités avaient déployé des centaines de soldats et policiers pour imposer un retour au calme après les massacres qui, selon les chefs de communautés, avaient fait plus de 400 morts à Jos.

Violences religieuses au Nigéria : 500 villageois massacrés

leparisien.fr

08.03.2010

La région de Jos, dans le centre du Nigeria, vient d’être à nouveau le cadre de terribles violences ethniques et religieuses entre chrétiens et musulmans. En janvier dernier, près de 300 personnes avaient été tuées , notamment dans le village de Kuru Karama.

Dimanche, ce sont près de 500 personnes qui ont été massacrées à la machette et brûlées, lors d’attaques nocturnes contre trois villages chrétiens. Les victimes sont essentiellement des femmes et des enfants. Des témoins ont décrit de véritables scènes d’horreur.

D’autres sources locales ont évoqué un bilan moindre. «D’après notre dernier décompte, il y a 202 corps», a déclaré à l’AFP Shamaki Gad Peter, qui dirige une ONG de défense des droits de l’Homme à Jos. Un autre militant des droits de l’Homme, Shehu Kani, a évoqué 250 tués. Un précédent bilan, dimanche soir, faisait état d’au moins 100 morts. De nombreuses maisons ont été incendiées.

Selon un conseiller du gouverneur de l’Etat du Plateau, Dan Majang, 95 assaillants auraient été arrêtés. Les attaques ont été menées de manière coordonnée, dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche, contre trois villages de l’ethnie Berom, chrétiens et sédentaires, par des éleveurs de l’ethnie Fulani, en majorité musulmans et nomades. Certaines sources locales évoquent des représailles à la suite d’un précédent conflit. D’après une source officielle, des rapports de sécurité laissent penser que «des intégristes islamistes» dans la région ont encouragé l’attaque. Des témoins cités par le journal The Nation avancent que les assaillants étaient au nombre de 300 à 500.

Dimanche soir, le président par intérim du Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, a placé «toutes les forces de sécurité du Plateau et des Etats voisins en état d’alerte maximum afin d’empêcher que ce dernier conflit ne déborde». Des centaines d’habitants de la région ont fui sur les routes par peur des représailles.

Nigeria : plusieurs centaines de morts dans des violences interreligieuses

France Info

8 mars 2010

Au Nigeria plusieurs centaines de personnes, principalement des femmes et des enfants, ont été massacrées à coups de machette hier près de Jos dans le centre du pays. Un nouvel épisode de violence entre chrétiens et musulmans pour le contrôle de l’Etat du Plateau.

Un nouveau déchaînement de violence aurait fait plus de 500 morts hier au Nigeria selon les autorités. Des habitants de villages chrétiens situés près de Jos, capitale de l’État du Plateau dans le centre du pays, ont été massacrés.

Selon les témoins les attaques coordonnées ont été menées dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche. Parmi les victimes, tuées à la machette et brûlées, de nombreuses femmes et des enfants.
Peter Gyang, un habitant de Dogo Nahawa, le village le plus touché, a perdu sa femme et deux enfants. "Ils ont tiré des coups de feu pour effrayer les gens et les ont ensuite tués à la machette".

Ces attaques ont été perpétrées par des éleveurs de l’ethnie fulani majoritairement musulmane, contre des Berom, une ethnie sédentaire majoritairement chrétienne. Elles s’ajoutent à la longue série de violences et d’affrontements dans le pays déclenchés en 2000.
L’État du Plateau se trouve au croisement du Nord musulman et du sud chrétien. Les tensions sont vives entre les communautés pour le contrôle de ces terres fertiles.

Scores reported dead in Nigeria clashes

PRESSTV.IR

Sun, 07 Mar 2010

Nigeria’s troubled central city of Jos has reportedly been the scene of fresh sectarian clashes, reportedly leaving scores of people dead.

Reports said the clashes broke out between pastoralists and villagers in Dogo Nahawa, just south of Jos, at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Sunday.

Witnesses form the village said that the pastoralists had opened fire to scare the villagers, before using machetes on their victims.

An unnamed government official was quoted by AFP as saying that most of the victims had been women and children, while a local reporter counted 103 corpses at the scene.

Abuja has yet to comment on the incident and it is not clear what sparked the violence.

The town of Jos has been a hotbed of Muslim-Christian violence in recent years.

In January, more than 550 Muslims, including many children, were killed in ethnic clashes near Jos.

This is while other parts Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and mostly Christian-populated south have also suffered from religious unrest.

Last July, a deadly offensive against the Boko Haram fighters, spread to four states and left more than 800 people dead in the Muslim-majority north.

Dozens Are Killed in Nigeria in Bout of Religious Attacks

online.wsj.com

MARCH 8, 2010

ABUJA, Nigeria—Dozens of villagers were killed Sunday in a northern Nigerian city, witnesses said, in what appears to be a fresh bout of violence between Muslims and Christians in Africa’s most populous country.

The witnesses and local aid officials reported widespread bloodshed but varying death tolls in the village of Dogo Nahawa, just south of the Nigerian city Jos.

Red Cross volunteers counted "more than 30 bodies, including women and children," said Umar Abdul, who works for the emergency-aid organization in Jos. Meanwhile, a local journalist said he counted in the same village over 120 dead bodies of mostly women and children.

"We lost count of the corpses; they kept bringing out more bodies," said the journalist, Isa Abdulsalami, of Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper.

Troops moved Sunday to contain the violence, say these witnesses. However, Nigerian police, military and government officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The Associated Press reported at least 200 people were killed, though that figure couldn’t be independently verified.

Jos serves as a volatile fault line separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south, and religious communities have long battled over the area’s fertile farmland.

The sectarian clashes hand a fresh test to a Nigerian government that has been in disarray. The country’s president, Umaru Yar’Adua, who is suffering from a heart condition, returned home recently from a prolonged period overseas. He hasn’t been seen in public in more than three months, during which time militants have attacked oil infrastructure, controversial petroleum legislation has stalled and violence has flared in Jos. Ties with the U.S. also went into a tailspin when a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day.

The country’s vice president, Goodluck Jonathan, has attempted to govern during the president’s absence, but has met resistance from some of Mr. Yard’Adua’s aides. In a statement, Mr. Jonathan’s office said he had ordered the country’s security services to track down "and defeat these roving bands of killers."

The statement added that "the Acting President has placed all the security forces in Plateau and neighboring states on red alert so as to stem any cross-border dimensions to this latest conflict."

Like past violence, the most recent killings in Jos appear to center on local grievances rather than instigation from any outside group. In January, several hundred people died in Jos after a Muslim man attempted to rebuild property that was burned down during similar clashes in late 2008. In those clashes, at least 700 people were killed, according to human rights groups.

Nigeria: Religious Riots Kill More Than 200

huffingtonpost.com

AHMED SAKA and JON GAMBRELL | 03/ 7/10

JOS, Nigeria — Rioters armed with machetes slaughtered more than 200 people overnight Sunday as religious violence flared anew between Christians and Muslims in central Nigeria, witnesses said. Hundreds of people fled their homes, fearing reprisal attacks.

The bodies of the dead – including many women and children – lined dusty streets in three mostly Christian villages south of the regional capital of Jos, local journalists and a civil rights group said. They said at least 200 bodies had been counted by Sunday afternoon.

Torched homes smoldered after the 3 a.m. attacks that a region-wide curfew enforced by the country’s police and military should have stopped.

The killings represent the latest religious violence in an area once known as Nigeria’s top tourist destination, adding to the tally of thousands already killed in the last decade in the name of religious and political ambitions.

Jos lies in Nigeria’s "middle belt," where dozens of ethnic groups mingle in a band of fertile and hotly contested land separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south.

In Dogo Nahawa, a village three miles (five kilometers) south of Jos, residents said the dead included a 4-day-old infant. Those who survived claimed their attackers shouted at them in Hausa and Fulani – two local languages used by Muslims.

A spokesman for Plateau state where Jos is located, Gregory Yenlong, said police were seeking to arrest Saleh Bayari, the regional leader of the Fulanis, because Bayari’s comments incited the attack. He offered no other details.

But the chairman of the local Fulani organization denied that his people were involved in the attack.

Nigerian military units began surrounding the affected villages Sunday afternoon, said Red Cross spokesman Robin Waubo. It was not clear if the violence was still continuing.

Jos: From Tin City to Massacre City

Thisdayonline.com

By Taiwo Olawale, 03.08.2010

Once again, Jos, the Plateau State capital, is up in flames. This is the second time in as many months that the town would be engulfed in deadly ethno-religious strife since the beginning of this year. The once popular tin city is fast becoming Nigeria’s riot city. But it was not always like this.

Jos used to be one of the most peaceful and tourism friendly cities in Nigeria. The city used to be the model of ethno-religious tolerance in the country. These days, however, it is becoming one of the weakest links in the country’s fragile ethno-religious balance. Though most people would trace the genesis of the problems to the April 12, 1994 riots that all but tore the Plateau State capital apart, some believe the genesis lies in the 1991 creation of Jos North Local Government Area by military President Ibrahim Babangida.

One thing that is certain, however, is that the reasons for the present crisis are traceable to the January 2010 riots. These are themselves traceable to the 2008, 2001 and 1994 riots. And, the underlying reason for all ‘the reasons’ “that may be given is that Jos is in the lethal grip of desperate ‘power mongers” who are bent on seizing control of the political future of the city.

These “power mongers” hide under religion and ethnicity to kill and maim fellow Nigerians. And, as usual with such scenarios, they have ready tools in the army of hungry and frustrated citizens living in the slums of the city. They also have co-conspirators in high places as well as in all segments of society who see what is happening as a war between “us and them.”

The First Riots

The April 12, 1994 riot was the first deadly one witnessed in Jos. The remote and immediate causes of the riots have remained the same ever since. According to the Whitepaper on the Hon. Justice J. Aribiton Fiberesima Commission of Enquiry set up to investigate the crisis, the most discernable cause of the riot was the “Recurrent friction for many years between the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes on the one hand, and the Hausa-Fulani tribes on the other hand.”

The report noted that, “Each part lays claim to Jos.  The Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere claim that they are the indisputable indigenous people of Jos, that the Hausa-Fulani are settlers, strangers, who migrated into Jos for various reasons which include commerce, employment and repair of fortune.  But the Hausa-Fulani contend that they, as owners of Jos, had had the privilege of producing the rulers of the town since way back in 1902.”

The appointment of a council boss became the tinder box that lit up the city of Jos in a 12 hour orgy of violence on the 12th of April.

Then, September 2001

An uneasy calm reigned until September 7th 2001 when violence erupted again. The same tension that existed before 1994 was the remote cause. This time round, however, the riots took a more frightening dimension as religion crept onto the agenda and the orgy of violence continued for five terrifying days.

November 2008 Riots

The immediate cause, as in 1994, had to do with local government politics. There were disputes over council elections and for two days from November 28, Jos was on fire. Lives and properties were destroyed in the senseless orgy of violence.January 2010

Riots broke out again on Sunday, January 17. This time around, the immediate cause arose directly from the 2008 riots. A man who had returned to rebuild his home was said to have been attacked and the madness began all over.

Now, another Riot

Just yesterday, another riot broke out. Women and children are among the casualties. In fact, a traditional ruler was quoted as saying the latest riots are evidence of man’s inhumanity to man. But, even while a federal government commission of enquiry is still trying to unravel the causes of the 2008 riots, Jos has witnessed two fresh riots.

When the dust clears after yesterday’s unrest, the remote and immediate causes would, no doubt, be traced to the same reasons identified after the 1994 riots. There would be a lot of blame-sharing and finger-pointing. But would this be the last riot? Will those who should take action do so? When would the madness on the Plateau end, soon?

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~ par Alain Bertho le 8 mars 2010.

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