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Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust CEO Corinna Loges, British Peer and HART founder Caroline Cox and U.S Bishop Stuart Ruch III narrowly avoided a potentially fatal ambush at the hands of Fulani militants in the village of Jong last Monday (14th November), whilst on an annual visit with a larger delegation to northern Nigeria.
Shortly after leaving the village near Jos in Plateau State, the delegation were contacted and informed that armed men had come into the valley (the village’s sole exit point) and shot at people driving through. The events occurred a mere 30 minutes after the delegation had departed. It is believed by local Christian minister Rev Gyang Boyi that the delegation was the original intended target of the attack.
Gyang Boyi stated to the delegation: ‘The Fulani Herdsmen killed the traditional ruler Sad Ron Kulere, Lazarus Agai in July, in a similar ambush. We thank God you escaped this.’ The delegation was composed of eight individuals. It is believed that the civilians who were subsequently caught in the crossfire were returning from a wedding.
The delegation had travelled to Jong to meet the remaining villagers in Lo-Birin and listen to their testimonies. Jong is just one of the villages that have been subject to devastating attacks at the hands of the increasingly lethal Fulani militants. Whilst Boko Haram’s impact is widely reported in the international press, the lethal attacks of Fulani militants is a growing issue that often goes unreported. Fulani militants have forced numerous vulnerable rural communities to abandon their homes, leaving children orphaned, villages destroyed and churches burned. The delegation spoke to numerous individuals who had been affected by the horrors of the Fulani militants.