Mass burials common as Nigerians face daily violence

People leave St Gabriel Catholic Church following Mass in late March in Abuja, Nigeria (CNS/Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters)

Faith communities in Nigeria face daily violence and persecution, a United States-based rights group said. Source: Crux.

While Christians, particularly preachers, “are clearly the targets” of militants in the West African country, Muslims are killed too, said Archbishop Matthew Ndagoso of Kaduna, who chairs the bishops’ committee on justice, development and peace.

Militants and also bandits act with impunity, he said, noting that all Nigerian civilians feel vulnerable and “let down by the government”.

In its recent report, the US-based International Committee on Nigeria said the US “needs to send a special envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, who can coordinate the US response to the crisis”.

Nigeria has suffered more than 10 years of killings, abductions and other abuses by armed Islamist groups. In the hardest-hit northeast region of the country, tens of thousands of people have been killed and about two million displaced.

The United Nations said it was “utterly shocked and horrified” after a video surfaced July 22 showing five men kneeling and blindfolded. They were then shot. The men – three were aid workers – had been travelling in Borno state when they were kidnapped.

With abductions commonplace along Nigeria’s roads, people are terrified to use them to go about their daily business, Archbishop Ndagoso told CNS on Wednesday.

Mass burials have become very common, he said.

Perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Nigeria “appear more emboldened as the political will to professionally investigate the crimes and hold perpetrators accountable is grossly lacking,” the ICON report said.


Archbishop: Mass burials common as Nigerians face daily violence (Bronwen Dachs, CNS via Crux

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