Over 300 Nigerian Christians slain in merciless killing spree by Fulani militants since February

19 March 2019

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Barnabas Fund contacts report that nearly 300 people were killed in at least seven predominantly Christian villages across Kaduna State, Nigeria, in February and March 2019; brutal rapes and maiming with machetes were also reported.

In a dawn attack on Karamai on 14 February, 41 died when some 300 gunmen engulfed the village, chanting “Allahu Akbar!” as they fired their guns and ransacked homes. Almost all the dead were women and children, apart from a few elderly and blind men who were unable to flee.

Up to 71 people were killed and 28 injured in a Fulani militia attack on 11 March in Dogon Noma village, Kaduna State. According to eyewitness accounts, the gunmen were “torching houses, shooting and hacking down anything that moved”. Some 100 houses were destroyed in the attack.

Houses in Karamai village that were razed in a Fulani attack
Houses in Karamai village that were burnt out in a Fulani attack

A further nine were reportedly killed in Nandu Gbok, also in Kaduna State on 16 March and 30 houses destroyed.

In Kajuru district in February and March, the bodies of about 73 women, some pregnant, and 101 children ranging from babies on their mothers’ backs up to 10-year-olds, were interred in a "mass burial".

Witnesses said most of the men in the villages fled when the raid started in the early morning in Dogon Noma and Karamai. Others were thought to be assisting in neighbouring villages that had been attacked in the preceding days.

During Nigeria’s recent election President Buhari, who was re-elected, campaigned on the promise to “bring permanent peace and solution” to the north east and other regions of “insurgency”, specifically mentioning Plateau, Benue and Kaduna States.

Church leaders in Nigeria have also repeatedly called on the President, who is himself a Fulani Muslim, to take decisive action against the scourge of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on Christian farming communities.

Attacks by armed Fulani herdsman are a constant threat for the predominantly Christian population of Nigeria’s Middle Belt. In the last two years, Fulani militants have murdered more than 6,000, according to church estimates. They also destroy church buildings and homes in their attacks which deliberately target Christian communities. Since 2001 at least 500 church buildings have been razed in Plateau State alone.

From Barnabas Fund contacts.

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