Christian communities have been persecuted and displaced by Islamist militia called ’Fulani’ in Nigeria
The aggressors attack rural villages, force villagers off their lands and settle in their place. The violence against predominantly Christian communities suggests that religion and ideology play a key part. In the following article, we publish a report by Baroness (Caroline) Cox and Rev. David Thomas (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust) in collaboration with S4C News.
Fundamental Islamists are the perpetrators
The Fulani are an ethnic group of about 20 million people. In the last years, growing numbers of Fulani have adopted a new land-grabbing policy motivated by religious reasons and equipped with sophisticated weaponry, which has led to the massacre of thousands of people.
The Global Terrorism Index in 2016 and 2017 named Fulani militia as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world, with only Boko Haram, ISIS and al-Shabab being accounted deadlier.
Christian communities are in the crosshairs.
A visit report by Baroness Cox and Revd David Thomas claims that the target of the violence is mostly Christian communities. This is proved by the facts that Christian pastors and community heads are specifically targeted, and hundreds of churches have been destroyed. During many of the attacks, the Fulani are reported by survivors to have shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, ‘destroy the infidels’ and ‘wipe out the infidels’.
The exact death toll is unknown; however, preliminary data suggests that over 6,000 Christians have been murdered between 2015 and 2019. The communities cannot rely on the Government for protection or justice.
“They attacked me with a machete twice, once to the neck and once to my hand. I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I saw my daughter on the ground – she was dead – with my chopped finger in her mouth.” – said Dogon Noma Veronica, a survivor of an attack.
Fortunately, a small NGO called Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) tries to provide both advocacy and aid for the communities. In Nigeria, they are privileged to support the Mai Adiko Reconciliation Project and the Christian Institute in Jos, Schools, and a Clinic in Bari, Kano State, and Ningi School in Bauchi State.
Featured image: St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Zangam was attacked by Fulani (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust)