Nigeria: Thousands of Christian villagers displaced by new violence

Dozens of people have died, hundreds have been injured and thousands displaced following Islamist Fulani attacks on Christian villages in central Nigeria in July and August 2020. CSI is responding with emergency assistance.

The Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in southern Kaduna State made an urgent appeal to CSI for help in meeting the people’s great need for food and shelter.

“As we struggle to survive the Covid-l9 pandemic the people of southern Kaduna, especially some villages within the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan, are experiencing hell as a result of a series of attacks from Fulani herdsmen,” the diocese said in the appeal made on July 31st.

Since the appeal was made there have been further attacks in the area resulting in another 33 deaths, local media report.

Ten villages attacked

According to the diocese, unprovoked attacks on ten villages led to the deaths of 52 people in the space of three weeks in July. Hundreds of people suffered injuries including gunshot wounds and cuts from machetes; properties were destroyed and over 100 houses burned down.

“Thousands have been displaced, especially women and children. Presently we have three IDP camps with 1,534 persons approximately,” the diocese said.

The state government has not provided any assistance, leaving it up to NGOs and faith-based organizations to help the suffering people, it added. The diocese turned to CSI for help as it was unable to cover the costs by itself.

CSI is providing food aid of rice, seasoning, salt and cooking oil to the 1,534 displaced villagers, and covering the costs of medical treatment for 20 injured people. It is additionally funding the provision of shelter to 15 families.

Southern Kaduna has recorded the highest number of Christian deaths at the hands of Fulani militants this year, according to human rights groups, with an estimated 363 deaths in the past seven months.