01/18/2017 Washington, D.C.
(International Christian Concern
) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 18, 2017, three Christians were killed and five injured by Muslim radicals in the town of Samaru-Kataf in Kaduna State, in northern Nigeria. Witnesses reported that the Fulani militants entered the town’s shopping area around 8:00-8:30 p.m. and began firing randomly into the market.
Father Aaron Tanko of the Justice and Peace Department of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan told ICC, “They came in and started shooting. People were going about their normal business. The unfortunate thing is that there were security men in the town; what were they doing?” Following the attack, it was reported to ICC that local media released false statements that Fulani militants were the victims who were attacked and killed.
The government of Kaduna State has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew and deployed additional security personnel. The changes seem to have made little improvement as attacks by Fulani militants have continued regularly. Father Aaron said, “What is the curfew for after the attacks have happened? I don’t understand. With the previous curfew imposed on the other parts of Southern Kaduna, villages were still attacked during the curfew!”
The Fulani militants are part of a nomadic group that is known for raising cattle in West Africa. In recent years, violence has escalated in northern Nigeria as the Fulani and their herds of cattle encroach on Christian communities and their farmland. The added security forces are an inadequate response and seem to do little to deter the Fulani from perpetrating attacks against predominantly Christian villages in the area.
Daniel Harris, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “ICC strongly condemns this attack against Christians by Fulani militants. We encourage the government of Nigeria to work to protect the Christian communities that are being victimized by Islamic radicals, and to bring to justice these perpetrators of violence that often act with impunity.”