Ethnic cleansing underway in northern Nigeria

- "I am trying to get in contact with Mgr. John Namanza Niyiring, Bishop of Kano but the lines do not work", reported Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos in central Nigeria. On the evening of January 20, in Kano, northern Nigeria's largest city, a series of coordinated bomb attacks and armed assaults hit several targets, among which some police stations.

 "Last night, I spoke with the pastor of the church of Our Lady of the Apostles who, over the phone, and told me he was forced to hide because he was under attack. But the information that we have so far are still fragmentary, and we are waiting for confirmation. Telephone lines are interrupted, I do not know if it is due to a technical problem or other causes. The situation is still confusing. We will see how the government reacts to this new attack", says the Archbishop of Jos.

Speaking from Jos, Archbishop Kaigama confirmed that Christians fleeing from the State of Yobe (North Nigeria) are arriving due to recent attacks by the Boko Haram Islamists. "Since Jos is an area where Christians predominate, these people come here to meet with friends and family".

 Archbishop Kaigama emphasized that "we need to look beyond the religious aspect of this crisis. Every time that Christians and Muslims are killed one should remember that there are evil forces that manipulate religion for their own purposes".
 

"We need to understand who these forces are. There are many interests that fuel tension and violence in Nigeria. It is amazing how Boko Haram is able to carry out increasingly sophisticated and coordinated attacks not only against the civilian population but also against the agents of the State. These are attacks which are carried out very efficiently and accurately". "Therefore we must look beyond appearances: there exists a sophisticated network that recruits people, trains and gives them weapons to conduct such attacks", concluded the archbishop.



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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