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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid