Monday, July 19, 2010


Mazah Village is still counting its casualties following an attack in the early hours of 16 July by armed Fulani Muslims that left an estimated ten dead and churches and homes burned to the ground.

Mazah is the ancestral home of the Anaguta people of the troubled area of Jos North, in Nigeria’s Plateau State. While the exact number of casualties is still unclear, children are known to be among those killed and seriously injured. The victims were frightened out of their homes with gun shots, then hacked with machetes by their attackers once they were outside. Similar tactics were used in attacks on the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Ratsat and Zot in March.

The attackers targeted key members of the community, focusing on the homes of the local councillor, the village head and a local church leader. During the attack, Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) Reverend Nuhu Dawat escaped with one of his children, but his wife and two other children were killed. His grandson, Nanfa, was shot in the foot, thrown in a bathroom and left to die. Fortunately, he was found by the police and taken to hospital, where he is recuperating well.

Villagers claim that although the security forces were called and arrived in time to quell the violence, they waited until the attack had ended before entering Mazah. The area is currently reported to be "quiet but tense." According to local sources, there was an unconfirmed report of another attack close to Mazah village on 18 July.

CSW National Director Stuart Windsor says, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mazah at this sad time. Once again, unarmed and peaceful villagers have been attacked and murdered in their beds, and once again there are indications that the security forces have not taken effective action, despite being in a position to do so. We once again urge the Federal authorities to urgently and comprehensively review the current security arrangements for Plateau State in order to ensure that vulnerable communities are protected and army units unwilling or unable to fulfill their duties effectively and without bias are brought to book."

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email or visit .

CSW is a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.

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