Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is warning of an upsurge in violence in Nigeria after more than 40 people were killed by local herdsmen on three different areas in the southern part of Kaduna state.
According to the human rights advocacy group, 36 people were killed in the Malagum 1 and Sokwong communities of the Kagoro Chiefdom in Kaura Local Government Area (LGA) on 18 December.
Three people had reportedly been killed in Malagum 1 in an attack that occurred five days earlier.
In the Ungwan Bawa village in Kachia, one person was killed, two were injured and an unknown number were abducted, including the wife and children of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) leader, Rev Yusuf Gan, who was assaulted in front of them.
Dr Khatazi Gondwe, CSW’s joint head of advocacy, said all victims are Christian.
“The villages are Christian villages. And the attacks are being done by a militia of Fulani ethnicity, which has now allied itself with Boko Haram and other terrorist movements. And so they are even more effective in a horrible way than they were before.”
She continued: “There are eleven military installations in Kaduna alone. And yet, these attacks have continued and are getting more and more marked, and may actually be a not just disrupt Christmas, because that's when they know Christians will be gathering to celebrate. So they're easy targets, but also the upcoming elections, which are coming up in February.”
Nigeria ranks number seven in Open Door’s list of countries where Christians face the most persecution.