Violence in Jos, already unthinkably high, continued yesterday as gunmen attacked and killed a family of eight, including 7 children just outside the metropolitan area..
A father, his 7 children and a neighbor were the latest casualties in Barkin Ladi, despite security forces pouring into the area in an effort to stem the violence.
Nigeria and Jos in particular has had particularly nasty ethno-religious conflicts over the years, and Jos in particular, has seen battle between the Muslim Hausas, seen as settlers and the ethnic Beroms, who are mostly Christian.
To compound matters politically, the Beroms are mainly supporters of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while the Hausas generally favor the opposition northern-led parties.
In the latest round of violence, over 100 people were murdered in the past two weeks in the state in conflicts between these rival ethnic groups.
Last week, Jos’s Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama and Muslim leader Sheikh Sani Yahaya Jingir appealed for an end to the violence, to little avail.
Now the United Nations has lent its voice to those asking for peace to reign in the state. It has appealed to all parties to cease from attacks and revenge attacks.
A spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said security forces had sometimes made the ethnic clashes by appearing to take sides or using excessive force.
The Nigerian Army’s Special Task Force (STF) was recently accused by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of supporting the Hausa ethnic group while other security forces have also been accused of supporting the Christian population.
Nigeria is still looking for solutions to the crisis in Plateau state even as it struggles to put down the insurgency-turned-into-terror-campaign of Boko Haram further north.