Islamists kill more than 140 people in Nigeria
Human rights organization criticizes that religion is used to justify crimes against humanity (Press Release)
According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) Islamist extremists in Nigeria have repeatedly instrumentalized religious matters to justify crimes against humanity against the civilian population. Last Tuesday, Islamist terrorists had called the population of the nomadic village of Faduma Kolomdi in the state of Borno in northeastern Nigeria to prayer – only to open fire on them. At least 81 people died in the fire of the machine guns, among them many women and children. Thirteen people were injured in the massacre, and seven villagers were abducted. "If Islamists call innocent civilians to prayer in order to kill them, this will massively damage the reputation of their religion," stated Ulrich Delius, the STPs Director, in Göttingen on Thursday.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, another 60 people were killed in further attacks in the districts of Sabuwa and Faskari in the state of Katsina in northern Nigeria. In the village of Kadisau alone, 32 got killed when heavily armed men on motorcycles entered the village: they burned down houses, shot people at random, and raped women. In Sabuwa district, gunmen attacked seven villages, terrorizing and murdered the civilian population.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of the region condemned the violence and promised to prosecute and punish the terrorists. "The people of northern Nigeria are tired of the civil war and the many bold announcements by the politicians. For the civilian population of northern Nigeria, there is no effective protection against extremist violence," Delius criticized. Since May 2020, there has been another significant increase in attacks of Islamist militants against Christians and Muslims. Around 1.8 million people have fled from the daily violence and are living as internally displaced persons in the region. About 413,000 of them have found refuge in the 51 refugee camps, which, however, are completely overcrowded. The close conditions there could lead to a rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.