Monday, March 22, 2010

Nigeria: 162 People to be Prosecuted for March 7 Massacre

Reuters is reporting that 162 people face prosecution, of which 41 face the death penalty, for the March 7 massacre of about 500 Christians, mostly women and children, in the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Rasat and Jeji near the city of Jos:

"Forty-one of the suspects are to be charged with terrorism and culpable homicide, which are punishable by death," police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu said.

The remaining detainees would be charged with unlawful possession of firearms, rioting and "mischief by fire" for the burning of buildings during the attacks.

Fierce competition for control of fertile farmlands between Christian and animist indigenous groups and Muslim settlers from the north have repeatedly triggered unrest in central Nigeria's "Middle Belt" over the past decade.

The "Muslim settlers from the north" are Fulani nomadic cattle herders. Those attacked were Berom.

For more context, see these posts on the 2008 riots in Jos:
Media Reporting on Muslim Violence in Jos
Christian Leaders Believe Jos Riots Were Coordinated and Planned

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