News / Africa

Nigerian Police Dispatched to Jos in Effort to Control Violence

Bystanders gather around a burned car outside the Victory Baptist Church in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010
Bystanders gather around a burned car outside the Victory Baptist Church in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010
Anne Look

Nigerian authorities have deployed additional armed riot police to the city of Jos, where clashes broke out Sunday, two days after bombings that killed 32 people. Authorities say the situation is under control and government officials are calling for calm.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned separate attacks in central and northeastern Nigeria that killed at least 38 people over the holiday weekend.

A series of explosions Friday killed 32 people and wounded 74 in Jos located in the central region of the country. Many victims were doing last-minute Christmas shopping.  

Jos resident Paddy Obodoeze says he heard the explosions. He says he came out and saw a blast that killed nine people very close to his house.

The bombings sparked clashes between armed Christian and Muslim groups in Jos Sunday morning. Security forces were patrolling the area to contain the violence and disperse crowds.

Visiting Jos Sunday, Deputy Inspector General of Police Abubukar Audu said four mobile police units were deployed from surrounding states and the situation had stabilized.  

"So far, the situation is relatively calm, I mean, has been brought under control," he said.

Audu said he had not heard reports of anyone being killed in Sunday's unrest.

Jos is the capital of Plateau State in Nigeria's volatile Middle Belt, a region where the mostly Muslim north meets the mainly Christian south. Clashes between religious and ethnic groups in Jos and surrounding villages have killed hundreds of people in recent years.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan pledged Saturday to hunt down those responsible for Friday's bombings.

Authorities said the attacks were politically motivated and aimed at sparking violence between Christians and Muslims that would disrupt preparations for April's presidential poll.

Plateau State Information Commissioner Gregory Yenlong said the atmosphere remained tense after Friday's bombings.  

"Enemies of the state are at work. People who don't wish us well are at work," Yenlong said. "People who feel that they are losing out in the scheme of things politically are at work. That is my candid opinion about what happened yesterday, and to the early hours of this morning. We expect drastic measures to be put in place, or else you can see how charged the atmosphere is."  

Plateau state's governor is calling on the federal government to strengthen security and capture those responsible for the bombings.

President Jonathan is trying to solidify national support before next month's primary in the ruling PDP party and some fear his rivals may try to exploit any unrest.

His candidacy is considered controversial because of the ruling party's tacit north-south power-sharing agreement that says the presidency should alternate to a northerner this term.

Jonathan is from the south and only became head of state after the death earlier this year of President Umaru Yar'Adua, a northern Muslim for whom Jonathan served as vice president.

On Christmas Eve, six people were also killed in northeastern Nigeria during attacks on two Christian churches, sparking condemnation from Pope Benedict XVI. Authorities are blaming members of the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram, which launched an uprising last year.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid