Christians Pull Out of Peace Talks With Muslims After Waves of Violence

April 8, 2004


On April 8, 2004 posted an Associated Press article that reported, "Saidu Dogo, an official of the Christian Association of Nigeria, an umbrella body representing Nigeria's 60 million Christians, claimed that religious violence had killed more than 1,000 Christians and animists in the northern states of Plateau, Kaduna and Jigawa since Jan. 1. The violence has entailed persistent back-and-forth Christian-Muslim attacks in the north, as rival mobs attack communities - burning homes, razing places of worship, and killing innocents. Police have refused to release an overall death toll in the latest northern violence. Authorities in Nigeria customarily play down Muslim-Christian violence in a bid to ease tensions. Abdulkadir Orire, secretary-general of the Christians' Muslim counterpart, Jamatu'ul Nasir Islam, insisted Thursday that 'more Muslims were killed' than Christians, but declined to provide an estimate. Dogo, the Christian leader, said Thursday that Christians were pulling out of what had been ongoing talks to try to calm the violence. "There's no basis for peace,'' Dogo said, accusing Muslims of 'attacking and killing our members at the least pretext.' Christian leaders were asking followers to remain 'alert' but refrain from retaliation against Muslims, Dogo said."