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Nigeria: further killings - Archbishop denies religious clash

Twelve more people were killed in an attack in the village of Byie in the Nigerian Plateau State last night. Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, said he did not believe  the cause of the violence was religious. He said: "This is a retaliation against the Fulani herders against the villagers, for an alleged theft of livestock. This is not a clash between Christians and Muslims."

"The Fulani herdsmen, considered the villagers responsible for the loss of part of their livestock, and carried out a retaliation attack. The fact that the Fulani are Muslim, and the villagers are mostly Christians, is an incidental fact. The real motivation for the massacre is the alleged theft of the livestock," Bishop Kaigama strongly affirmed.

He said: "I am concerned about the fact that the large international press continues to
present the clashes that take place in Plateau State as a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. This is not so.  This violence is of a social, economic, and political origin. Stating that there is a religious clash means endangering the lives of people, because, talking about it really presents a threat to igniting sectarian hatred. Why doesn't the international press talk of the initiatives undertaken by everyone, including Christians and Muslims, to reduce tension in the area? It seems to me that they are just trying to throw fuel on the fire" concluded the Archbishop of Jos.

Source: Fides