More violence in Nigeria leaves 10 000 displaced

Attackers burnt part of a mosque complex on Tuesday in the south Nigerian city of Benin, where clashes earlier killed five and displaced more than 10 000, a Red Cross official said.

“We have recorded so far five deaths — on both sides, those that have been attacked and the attackers,” said Dan Enowoghomwenwa, secretary general of the Nigerian Red Cross in Edo state, said.

“We have over 10 000 internally displaced persons in various places.”

The attacks started on Monday amid street protests against soaring fuel prices, when a crowd separated from the main demonstration and attacked a mosque and terrorised residents of mainly Hausa neighbourhoods.

Hausas are the largest ethnic group in Nigeria’s north and are overwhelmingly Muslim.


The Red Cross official could not specify who was behind the attacks, only saying there were “indigenes” targeting northerners.

Witnesses said an Islamic school adjacent to a mosque was burnt on Tuesday, as was a bus parked next to it.

“One of the old buildings at the mosque was burnt down but the new one was vandalised,” said Enowoghomwenwa. “A 32-seater bus in the compound was burnt too.”

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a predominantly Christian south and mainly Muslim north.

Recent violence targetting Christians in the north and blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram has sparked fears of a wider religious conflict as well as warnings from Christian leaders that they will defend themselves. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African connection: How mercenaries aided Trump ally in...

The UN found that Trump ally Erik Prince violated the Libyan arms embargo. Here are the South Africans the report says helped him to do so

Q&A Sessions: African court ‘will be a tough job’ — Dumisa...

Lawyer, author and political activist Dumisa Ntsebeza talks to Nicolene de Wee about his appointment as judge of the African Court on Human and...

More top stories

In a bizarre twist VBS liquidators sue KPMG for R863mn

In filed court documents, the VBS liquidators are blaming auditing firm KPMG’s negligence for the alleged looting of the bank

Snip, snip: Mboweni eyes wage bill, other future spending cuts

Last year, the finance minister noted that increased government spending has failed to promote growth over the past decade

Budget: Mboweni pegs recovery hopes on vaccine efficacy, lower public...

The treasury forecasts 3.3% growth, but warns this will fall to 1.6% if the fledgeling vaccination programme fails to stem successive Covid waves

READ IT IN FULL: Mboweni’s 2021 budget speech

Read the finance minister's address on the budget for 2021
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…