Sunday, December 13, 2015
By Scott A. Morgan, Special to ASSIST News Service
NIGERIA (ANS – Dec. 12, 2015) -- When one hears or thinks of Christian persecution that is occurring inside Nigeria the first thoughts seemingly focus on the Boko Haram Militancy that started in the Northeastern part of the Country and has been able to spread outside of Nigeria to its neighbors.
The State in question is Taraba, which lies to the south of the Area where the Islamists have focused their insurgency which are the States of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. It also forms part of the border with Cameroon. Like several other States in Nigeria, Taraba had had one person dominate the political landscape. That person is Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and while researching this article, a search was conducted regarding the political landscape of Taraba and I discovered that his website was taken down by theNigerian Authorities. It is believed that nothing happens in the State without his knowledge.
The question now is who is the guilty party? It is reported that they are the Fulani’s, a nomadic tribe that resides in the area. According to a report documented by the Nigeria Conflict Security Analysis Network, and analyzed by World Watch Research, which is part of Open Doors International, the numbers, especially related to the Fulani’s, are staggering. Using data collected between December 2013 and July 2015 the following incidents have taken place within Taraba State:
* 1,484 Christians have been killed which are broken down into 532 men, 507 women and 445 children.
* 2,388 were injured which were broken down into 1,069 men, 817 women and 502 children.
* 171 Churches were destroyed, 314 homes, and 39 shops and businesses.
At this time there are 10 IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camps open within the State currently housing 11,898 People. In Benue State there are six camps open and housing 12,664 IDPs. An estimated 10,000 more IDPs are camped along the Nigerian-Cameroonian Border as well. What is a concern is that it is estimated that this covers only 50% of the reported atrocities against the Christians committed by the Fulani’s.
Earlier this year Nigerians elected a New President, Muhammadu Buhari, to deal with a myriad of issues such as a poor economy and the Boko Haram insurgency. These concerns have easily overshadowed the events that have occurred in Taraba. It has been recommended that the UN Human Rights Council send a Commission of Inquiry to the region (Middle Belt) The focus will be to determine if ethnic/religious cleansing is taking place in this state.
No data regarding violence against Muslims has been collected to determine how they have suffered in this area. It feels that some type of cleansing process is taking place to support the Boko Haram insurgency. This is also something that the US Embassy in Nigeria and the Congress need to investigate so that the proper discussions could be held with the Government in Abuja.
The region is already in a precarious state. Nothing else that will inflame tensions needs to occur. It’s time for Abuja and its allies/donors to face some critical questions. Such why is the UN interested in the Atrocities there and not in the Northeast? Why is the Nigerian government focused more on Boko Haram as a threat to National Security than what is occurring in Taraba?
Photo captions: 1) Shocking image of some of the Christians who have perished in Nigeria. 2) Fulani herdsmen on the attack. 3) A Church destroyed by Islamists in Nigeria. 4) Scott A. Morgan.
About the writer: Scott A. Morgan has been the President of Red Eagle Enterprises since its inception in November 2012. He uses his experience from serving in the U.S. Marines during the Reagan administration, attending college for Criminal Justice, Advocacy for Human Rights with Amnesty International and writing to come up with an interesting matrix and business model. Currently based in Washington, DC, he specializes in US Policy towards Africa focusing on Security, Assymetrical Operations and Business Development South of the Sahara. His Blog Confused Eagle can be found at http://confusedeagle.livejournal.com and his e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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