At least 35 people were killed, and hundreds left homeless following seven separate attacks on communities in central Nigeria’s southern Kaduna State in the last two months. Through its partner on the ground, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is providing food and medical aid to victims in Southern Kaduna, including 1,000 people displaced by Fulani attacks at the end of last year.
According to CSI’s local partner, the Justice, Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan (JDPC Kafanchan), the attackers set houses on fire, and destroyed or looted properties. The attacks on mainly Christian villages have been attributed to Islamist Fulani herdsmen. In one community alone, Kizachi Dawai, 12 people died and were laid to rest in a mass grave. In the latest attack on Wawan Rafi where four people were killed, two churches were burnt to the ground, indicating a religious motive.
Hannatu Christopher, 45, and her family had a narrow escape after their village, Kurmin Gandu, was overrun.
“The four of us including my husband and two children were in the house when suddenly we heard gun shots,” she told CSI’s partner. The family managed to escape into the bush. “None of us in the family was hurt but the entire house was burnt down. We lost food, beddings, a motorcycle, some money, and many other valuables. All the crops we harvested were destroyed. Three days before the attack, the Fulani community living with us left the village and they are yet to return, maybe for fear of revenge, but we have no thoughts of revenge – we leave everything to God. We were living happily together before but now we are living in fear and looking to others for survival as we don’t have food and shelter.”
Livinus Yohanna, 47, of Kizachi Dawai, lost his wife and two of his children when the herdsmen invaded his village in mid-March. His home and vehicle were burned to ashes.
“Years back we co-existed peacefully with the Fulani people as friends and neighbors,” says Yohanna, “but today they treat us as enemies even though they are living with us in our ancestral land. They have taught their children to see us as enemies. We no longer feel safe in our ancestral land. We are praying to God that he will one day bring this violence to an end.”
For more information visit http://csi-usa.org.
About Christian Solidarity International:
Founded over 40 years ago, CSI is an international Christian human rights organization, campaigning for religious liberty and human dignity, and assisting victims of religious persecution, victimized children and victims of catastrophe. CSI delivers emergency food assistance, medical treatment, and other lifesaving aid to victims of religious persecution and natural disasters in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, South Sudan, Pakistan, and other hotspots around the globe. CSI is currently the only organization working to liberate Christians and other South Sudanese forced into slavery by government-backed forces during the Sudanese civil war. For more information visit https://csi-usa.org.