Rights Group Warns of ‘Rwandan-style genocide’
A human rights group has warned that Nigeria is at risk of a “Rwandan-style genocide” as more than 60,000 Christians have been killed by extremists in the past decade.
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law cites research from the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON) claiming that more than 60,000 killings have taken place since 2010, with Boko Haram and Islamic State slaughtering Christian communities.
ICON’s campaign titled the “Silent Slaughter” says that Boko Haram has killed 43,242 Nigerians since 2010 and that IS extremists are reported to have killed 17,284 further Nigerians in the same time period.
Nigeria’s population of more than 190 million people are almost exactly divided between Christian and Muslims, and tensions between the two faiths are ongoing. Last month, the Washington Times reports, protesters staged massive marches in cities across the country to protest the beheading of a Christian pastor by Islamist militants and to decry the perceived failure of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle abductions and assassinations.
ICON warns that “From the way things are speedily unfolding, the country is likely to be thrown into the Rwandan style genocide and other forms of mass bloodletting.”
Last year, the Daily Express reports, French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy visited Nigeria and ‘warned that a “slow-motion war” is underway. He claimed that the world had “hardly noticed” a “massacre of Christians, massive in scale and horrific in brutality”.’
A House of Lords inquiry is to hear evidence that between 2009 and 2017, Boko Haram bombed and attacked 900 Christian churches and that the terrorist attacks now extend into Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Ayo Adedoyin, chief executive of rights group PSJ UK, said: “[Our] campaign builds on the Prime Minister’s Christmas message, which vowed to defend persecuted Christians around the world… For too long, Nigeria’s Christians have been silently slaughtered.
“Their cries have been ignored by the mainstream media and political establishment, both in Nigeria and across the western world. There will be no peace in Africa until Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy and breadbasket of the future, can defend each of its citizens, particularly the most vulnerable.
“While we cannot underestimate the threat of Covid-19, it is undeniable that Islamic terrorism has posed a bigger threat to Nigerian society at the start of 2020.”