Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nigeria: Rioting Kills At Least 300

THE Contested election results and religion-based hatred were the cause of rioting that has killed more than 300 so far. Fighting erupted over the results of a local election in the city of Jos in central Nigeria. This is not the first time this has happened in Nigeria. CNN notes that "More than 10,000 Nigerians have died in sectarian violence since civilian leaders took over from a former military junta in 1999. Political strife over local issues is common in Nigeria, where government offices control massive budgets stemming from the country's oil industry." Nigeria's religious demographics are Muslim 50%, Christian 40% and indigenous beliefs 10%. (CIA Word Factbook) BBC on the current mayhem in Nigeria: Police have imposed a 24-hour curfew and the army is patrolling the streets. They have been given orders to shoot on sight in an effort to quell the bloodshed, some of the most serious in Nigeria in recent years. The Nigerian Red Cross says at least 10,000 people have fled their homes. More at BBC News... A report from AFP: "I was at the central mosque this afternoon and I counted 378 dead bodies but just as I was about to leave, three more bodies were brought in," a correspondent for Radio France Internationale in Jos, Aminu Manu, told AFP, adding that families were coming forward to claim their dead relatives. "Hundreds of people have been killed in the last two days since the riots started. Remains of burned bodies litter some parts of the town; it is so terrible," Christian clergyman Yakumu Pam said. Full Story at AFP... It should be noted that more people have died in the current Nigerian situation than in Mumbai and all Wal-Marts combined this week. RELATED: Troops Deployed to Stop Fighting in Central Nigeria - VOA 28 Nov 2008 ZIMBABWE: Soldiers riot over cash shortage - IRIN 28 Nov 2008 Islam in Nigeria: Simmering tensions BBC, 2003 Christians Killed And Churches Burned In Nigerian Riots (2002) RTÉ News: 175 killed in Nigerian riots over beauty contest (2002) Religious hatred sparks Nigerian riots... (2001) BBC News AFRICA Murder charges after Nigerian riots (2000) Nigeria, Crime Timeline, 21st Century Nigeria Christian / Muslim Conflict