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Nigeria: Protect Survivors, Fully Investigate Massacre Reports

Human Rights Watch
23 January 2010
Nigeria's vice president should order an immediate criminal investigation into credible reports of a massacre of at least 150 Muslim residents of a town in central Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said today.
The killings, allegedly by groups of men armed with knives, machetes, and guns, were in the town of Kuru Karama, 30 kilometers south of the city of Jos in Plateau State in central Nigeria. (…)
Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that groups of armed men attacked the largely Muslim population of Kuru Karama around 10 a.m. on January 19, 2010. After surrounding the town, they hunted down and attacked Muslim residents, some of whom had sought refuge in homes and a local mosque, killing many as they tried to flee and burning many others alive. The witnesses said they believed members of the armed groups to be Christians. (…)
In a televised address to the nation on January 21, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, the acting president, pledged that the perpetrators of the violence in Plateau State and their sponsors would not evade justice. "The federal government is determined to secure convictions of the perpetrators of this crime, no matter how highly placed," he said. (…)
Muslim leaders in Plateau State reported today that at least 364 Muslims have been killed in Jos and surrounding communities, including 187 of the dead that have been taken to the Jos central mosque for burial. A Christian leader told Human Rights Watch today that the Christian Association of Nigeria is still compiling figures on the number of Christians killed.
Human Rights Watch said the government should also take concrete steps to end the discriminatory policies that treat certain groups as second-class citizens and lie at the root of much of the inter-communal violence in Nigeria. (…)
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