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The city of Jos, Nigeria, has witnessed a tumultuous final weekend of September, with a rise in violent attacks and widespread chaos.
Internationally there has been a media blackout; however, we have received correspondence from HART partner Rev. Hassan John who has reported an unprovoked attack on Christians on Thursday evening (27 Sept.). This resulted in mayhem and disorder throughout Jos on Friday and Sunday, and a nighttime curfew has now been imposed.
Figures vary, however, according to local news multiple family homes along Rukuba Road, leading to the Rukuba barracks, were attacked and the death count is reported to be between nine and seventeen.
In the preceding days, the bodies of five suspected herdsmen were discovered, suggesting the possibility of a revenge attack(s) as armed Fulani herdsmen, accompanied by militants in Nigerian army uniforms, have been identified as carrying out the attacks.
According to the board chairman of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, via the Christian Post, the attackers are believed to be radicalised jihadists portraying themselves as herdsmen, however, are armed with machetes and rifles.
Following Thursday’s attacks, there have been numerous incidents, and the murder of a motorcyclist in Jos has caused tensions to rise further as youths have protested the killing by burning and looting properties.
Over the weekend, a major hostel at the University of Jos was also attacked by suspected herdsmen, leaving at least one student dead. Gunshots were also heard, believed to be from security operatives.
In response to this weekend of unrest, the Plateau Police Command has mobilised armed personnel to quell violent activity in troubled areas.
Many are still in displacement camps following an insurgency from Fulani Herdsmen jihadists that killed over 200 people in a town 30 miles south of Jos. Over 13,000 people have been displaced, and many are unable to return to their villages as they have been overtaken by Fulani militia.