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World News

Christian charity backs protestors in Nigeria rallying against 'armed herdsmen' killers

by Sophie Drew

Protestors have taken to Jos, the capital of Nigeria's Plateau State,  in response to the ongoing killings by a militia often referred to as 'armed herdsmen'.

Over 130 people were killed in attacks on more than 23 communities in the Mangu and Riyom Local Government Areas (LGAs) since the 15th of May. The violence displaced tens of thousands and led to the looting and destruction of homes, farmlands, and food barns.

CSW Nigeria (CSWN) Press Officer Reuben Buhari said, "The ferocious deliberateness of current attacks on villages... are a sad testament to Nigeria's incapability to protect its own citizens."

The Most Reverend Benjamin Kwashi, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, also lamented the failure to protect vulnerable communities: "The security services appear to have no mandate to intervene decisively... Unless there is a drastic change in command and control, it is effectively an official death sentence on us."

Attacks, abductions, and killings have risen sharply in central Nigeria since the electoral period ended, particularly in Plateau, Benue, and Kaduna States. Arrests of perpetrators are extremely rare and prosecutions do not occur. Churches, church leaders, and their families have also been deliberately targeted during these attacks.

Mr Buhari urged all levels of government to "mandate security forces to provide effective protection for vulnerable communities and bring perpetrators to justice.
He  continued: “The fact that people have continued to die in such significant numbers merely highlights the ineffectuality of these statements, and the seeming inability by government to bring these killers to justice emboldens them even further.”
CSW UK’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas added: “The Nigerian government has both the duty and the capacity to rout these terrorists and save the lives of its citizens. We therefore urge the federal and state authorities to prioritise the pursuit, arrest, and prosecution of these terrorists, and to immediately initiate partnerships with relevant stakeholders in areas where dialogue is needed.”

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