At least 100 Christians in Nigeria were killed and hundreds of others injured in April, according to a human rights watchdog group warning that Fulani attacks against Christian farming communities seem to be spreading further south.
The Anambra-based nongovernmental organization known as the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) released a special report this week stating that the 100 Christians were killed by Fulani herdsmen and armed jihadist groups like Boko Haram in April.
The report details that between 750–800 Christians have been killed by armed jihadist groups in the African nation during the first four months of 2019.
Of those killings, the NGO states that about 550 to as many as 600 killings were perpetrated by Fulani Islamic militias associated with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria MACBAN, a federally registered group that advocates for Fulani pastoralists whom critics have called for to be labeled as a “terror” organization.
“In the just past four months of 2019 (January–April), the jihadist group had butchered 550–600 Christians with hundreds of homes and dozens of churches torched or destroyed,” the NGO reports.
The other 200 killings thus far in 2019, Intersociety reports, have been carried out by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa, which has terrorized northeastern Nigeria, parts of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.
While estimates on the number of people killed in societal violence in Nigeria often vary, Intersociety board chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi, a Christian criminologist and human rights activist, told The Christian Post that the numbers the organization presents are based on “empirical” evidence that can be defended in court.
While attacks on Christian farming communities over the last several years have largely occurred in the country’s Middle Belt as Fulani herders from the north have migrated, the report warns that victims in the southeast Anambra state and southern Delta state were also included in the latest round of killings in April.
“The latest round of anti-Christian killings or massacres in the country not only translates to a monthly average of 180–200 in the past four months, with daily average of six to seven Christian deaths, but the killings are steadily creeping toward the Southern part of Nigeria, particularly the Southeast and South-south; capable of igniting ‘holy war’ and intertribal cleansing,” the report reads.
On April 12, suspected Fulani militants were reported to have stormed a farm settlement in West Anambra and killed six people while injuring 30 others. The extremists were also said to have killed people, burned houses and raped women.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith