Thursday, April 3, 2014

NIGERIA: CURFEW IN KAFANCHAN FOLLOWING PROTESTS

a Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) press release

A 24-hour curfew was imposed on Kafanchan, a major town in southern Kaduna State on 2 April after local youth reacted angrily to the discovery by law enforcement agents of weaponry in a truck carrying Fulani herdsmen to the area.

According to an eyewitness report received by Christian Solidarity Worldwide -Nigeria (CSW-N), following the discovery the youth of Kafanchan took to the streets demanding instant justice. The military responded by shooting at the protesters and wounding several, many of whom received medical attention. However an unconfirmed report states that two protesters may have died.

The southern part of Kaduna State, which has witnessed several deadly attacks by Fulani herdsmen* since 2011, saw a steep rise in this violence during 2014.

The most recent violence involved the destruction of three communities and the killing of over a hundred people in the Manchock area of Kaura Local Government Area (LGA). Amidst heightened local anger at a seeming official inability to prevent these attacks, on 30 March soldiers from the Nigerian Army raided Ladunga Village, an infamous Fulani settlement in Kachia LGA, southern Kaduna State, arresting 18 people and recovering several weapons. On 31 March, a major military offensive was launched to end similar attacks in Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States.

Rev Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of CSW-Nigeria said: 'While commending recent pro-active interventions by security operatives to avert violence, we urge the government to illustrate consistent commitment to ending the culture of impunity surrounding attacks on rural communities, as insufficient intervention encourages such violence to continue. In addition, while understanding the source of the deep frustrations felt by young people in southern Kaduna in the face of the continuing attacks against their communities and deeply lamenting any deaths or injuries ensuing from yesterday's events, we caution against communities taking the law into their own hands, as this inevitably leads to further violence that undermines the rule of law.'

*some links giving more background on these attacks here, here, and here.
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

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