NIGERIA: ANOTHER WAVE OF VIOLENCE IN SOUTHERN KADUNA STATE and reply from James Duddridge MP, UK Minister for Africa, about violence in Nigeria; the role of the International Criminal Court; and a commitment to study the recent report on Nigeria from the All Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Executioners wrongly believe that the world does not care what they are doing to innocent Nigerians.
“You that are working for infidel organisations, you are working to deliver their mandate but they do not care about your plight,” said a man wearing a balaclava in the video, with the five captives wearing red blindfolds and kneeling in a row in front of him.
|22 July 2020 – Statement from CSW
NIGERIA: ANOTHER WAVE OF VIOLENCE IN SOUTHERN KADUNA STATE
|At least 27 people were killed within a 24-hour period between 19 and 20 July in attacks by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity on communities in southern Kaduna state.
On 20 July approximately nine people were killed and an unknown number were injured and displaced following an attack on Gora Gan village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) which occurred at around 7.00pm.
On 19 July Fulani assailants armed with guns and machetes attacked a wedding reception at a home in Kukum Daji village in the Kaura LGA at around 10.30pm, killing 15 and injuring around 30 people. Most of the victims were young people. Several survivors received treatment in medical facilities in Kafanchan, while others were transported to Barau Dikko Hospital in Kaduna metropolis, where three later died, raising the death toll to 18.
According to local reports, the attack on Kukum Daji was one of several on locations in Kaura LGA. Kagoro, Manchok and Malugum were also attacked; however, there is no accurate information on the number of casualties. Prior to these attacks, on 20 June, the Kaura Youth Coalition and National Association of Takad Youths issued a press statement warning of the presence of some 600 heavily armed militia men in the Zangang Hills. Although the Kaduna State Government sent soldiers to search parts of the area, both the commissioner of internal security, Samuel Aruwan, and Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai later dismissed the report as false.
The attacks are a part of a campaign of violence targeting communities in southern Kaduna which has been ongoing since January 2020, and is characterised by murder, looting, rape, abductions for ransom and forced displacement. Last week at least 22 people were killed and over 1000 were displaced in a series of attacks on communities in Zangon Kataf LGA between 10 and 12 July. The attacks continued for three days despite a significant military presence in the area.
In a statement issued on 20 July, the Adara Development Association highlighted an attack by Fulani assailants on Mai-ido and neighbouring villages in Kachia LGA that took place on 16 July, in which 32 people were abducted and 4 people were killed, including John Auta, Danjuma Bala and Christopher Ayuba.
Subsequently on 17 July, Mr. Ayuba Bulus from Doka Avong Village in Kajuru LGA was murdered on his farm. Later that day, Fulani assailants looted and destroyed property in the nearby Efele settlement, and hacked to death Gloria Shagari, 25, her children Dorcas, 6, and Faith, 3, and Hussaini Daudu, 40. Another victim, Baptist church leader Reverend Thomas M. Gambo, remains in hospital in a critical condition.
The failure of state and federal governments to address the violence in Nigeria’s central states adequately has contributed to an alarming rise in deadly rural banditry involving armed men of Fulani extraction that is impacting severely on Hausa Muslim communities in north western states. On 19 July, at least 23 Nigerian troops were ambushed and killed in forest area in Jibia LGA, Katsina State as they were on their way to clear a terrorist camp from Shimfida village. The ambush occurred amidst a growing terrorist presence in the area.
In a video released in January, entitled ‘Response to polytheistic Nigerian Army’, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau spoke in Kanuri, Arabic and Hausa as usual, but also added messages in the Fulani language, Fulfude. In a video released in early July, an armed group in Niger State in northwest declared its allegiance to Shekau, and a week before the ambush the Nigerian newspaper HumAngle revealed he had also cemented alliances with armed groups in Zamfara state in the north west, and was in the process of formalising relations with groups in Katsina and Sokoto states, also in the northwest, and in Adamawa, Kogi and Taraba states in central Nigeria. Shekau has also secured the allegiance of armed groups in Cameroon, Chad and the Republic of Niger.
CSW’s Chief Operating Officer Scot Bower said: “CSW is dismayed by the relentless attacks in southern Kaduna, and we extend our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods. It is deeply disturbing that perpetrators continue to operate with impunity. Worse still, the failure or unwillingness of those in authority to address these and other non-state actors and to secure ungoverned spaces, has not only allowed the violence to mutate, but has also created an environment in which Boko Haram can extend its operations. Nigeria’s increasing security vacuum is a threat to the nation and region. We therefore reiterate our call for international pressure on both the state and federal authorities to fulfil their duty of care towards all citizens regardless of creed or ethnicity, and to fully resource the armed forces, enabling them to secure the nation before it is too late. We also repeat our call for the UN Human Rights Council to convene a special session on the human rights situation in central Nigeria, with particular focus on current violations in the southern Kaduna area and Plateau State.”
Victims of the attack on Kukum Daji. Credit: CSW-Nigeria.
Chief Executive of CSW-Nigeria and General Secretary of the Evangelical Church Winning All, Reverend Yunusa Nmadu, visits victims of the attack on Kukum Daji. Credit: CSW-Nigeria
The Lord Alton of Liverpool
House of Commons
Dear Lord Alton,
Thank you for your email of 18 June to Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon regarding Nigeria. I am replying as the Minister for Africa.
I welcome the APPG’s report and the detailed analysis it provides on both
intercommunal violence and the terrorist threat in North East Nigeria. We are
analysing the report’s recommendations and intend to provide a full response.
I raised the report and our concerns about the levels of intercommunal violence in Nigeria in a recent call with President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.
I condemn the killings of Reverend Bileya and his wife Juliana in Taraba State in June, as well as that of the Imam of Bagoni in a related incident. I offer my sincere condolences to their families. Our understanding is that the attack on Reverend Bileya likely stems from a specific dispute over farmland in a long-running territorial and political dispute between the predominantly Christian Tiv and Jukun communities in the border areas of Benue and Taraba. We welcome President Buhari’s calls for an urgent end to the killings, and encourage a solution which addresses the historic drivers of the violence.
I further condemn the kidnapping of Father David Echioda in Benue State and the four seminary students from their dormitory in Kaduna State. I am pleased to hear that Father Echioda was released unharmed after two days. Media reports suggest it was a case of mistaken identity. We are aware that three of the four students in Kaduna were released but, as you mention, Michael Nnadi tragically died.
We have no confirmed details of ransom demands, although there have been a reports of a number of criminal kidnaps for ransom in Kaduna state recently.
All attacks on religious leaders and on places of worship are unacceptable. We call on the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to protect all communities affected by rising criminality and intercommunal clashes, carry out full investigations to bring perpetrators to justice and implement long-term solutions that address the underlying causes of the violence.
You raise the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). An ICC
preliminary investigation into the situation in Nigeria, announced in 2010, focusses on alleged Rome Statute crimes committed in the Niger Delta, the Middle Belt states and North East Nigeria.
The Prosecutor has identified ten potential cases that they have shared with the Nigerian authorities.
The Government of Nigeria has prime responsibility for the investigation and
prosecution of these cases. The ICC preliminary examination remains open and if the Prosecutor considers the Nigerian Government’s responsibility to investigate and prosecute the cases identified has not been met, they can apply to the Pre-Trial Chamber to open an investigation. We urge the Nigerian authorities to investigate fully the cases identified by the Prosecutor.
The UK Government, and I personally, remain committed to standing up for freedom of religion or belief all over the world.
We are a strong voice internationally in defence of this fundamental right. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all Nigerians.
James Duddridge MP
Minister for Africa