(Voice of the Persecuted
) International human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe sent an urgent alert to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) addressing a 60 hour killing spree that began last weekend [where possibly] 200 Christians were slaughtered in Plateau State, even as the US Ambassador At Large for International Religious Freedom was departing Nigeria.
Ambassador Brownback’s one week visit was pockmarked with 6 suicide bombings by Boko Haram in one day (the largest single day detonations), deadly Shiite clashes with the police, altercations between local Muslims and a community and continuing killings by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.
The grand finale of this perfect storm of violence was the triple digit massacre in Plateau State. See Viewpoint Nigeria’s report Despair as death toll of Barkin Ladi killings reaches 106
– 31 corpses were recovered from Gindin Akwati (i.e, Ex-lands),
– 34 from Gana-Ropp,
– 8 from Shonong and the balance
– 33 from small villages (e..g, Razat, Ruku, Nghar, Tanabu, Tisan, Kakuruk etc) in the vicinity.
Vanguard News front page called it a bloodbath
Overnight, I have been inundated with photos too gruesome to share here of horribly mutilated bodies of children brutally macheted to death and macheted still after death for maximal horror effect, charred corpses and bodies stacked in mass graves, Ogebe lamented.
Already the Fulani have justified this heinous crime against humanity
The sad thing is this is not the first time nor the last. In 2012 when Fulanis massacred over 60 Christian villagers in Plateau State, an executive of the same cattle [rearing] group said the same thing. I wrote to the Attorney General and asked, “This man has admitted the crime. Why hasn’t he been picked up?” He is still free till today. After the New Year Massacre in Benue State
, again they admitted it. No one has been arrested.
Worse still, some of the communities attacked this weekend were attacked previously. In fact one of them was part of the notorious 2010 Dogo Na Hawa Massacre in which 500 Christians were killed. That massacre 8 years ago spurred me to launch the Justice For Jos project and that has evolved to covering Boko Haram atrocities. Ironically the Herdsmen atrocities have continued unabated while Boko Haram hogged the spotlight.
Sadly all of this occurred while Nigeria’s President Buhari was busy holding a party convention in his bid for re-election. Early last week I got distress messages from of our local workers that he was trapped outside the orphanage because of an ongoing Herdsmen attack. However President Buhari deployed over 5000 policemen for his security at the party convention and the killings built up until the massacre despite the early warnings.
We hear reports that mass burials are being ordered by the authorities to hide the true casualties.
Victims of the latest killings.
At this point the Plateau massacre this weekend looks likely to be the third worst in the 8 years in which I have tracked Herdsmen attacks.
1. Dogo Nahawa 500 killed March 2010 Plateau State
2. Agatu 300 killed
February 2016 Benue State
3. Barkin Ladi 200? Plateau State June 2018
Mourners at a funeral were also killed, see report
. Again not for the first time.
It is disconcerting that a small Muslim minority can so terrorize Christian majorities in Benue and Plateau state because of their monopoly of violence. The great danger is if Christians choose not to take it anymore. Friends and family have been appealing for evacuation since last night as Muslims are amassing. However Plateau is where most Christians from the far north flee for safety so where does everyone one now go?
One of my colleagues [informed] me that Rocket Propelled Grenades were used in these attacks. I am waiting on the evidence but if true, this is not the first time either.