In a 60-hour killing spree about 200 Christians were slaughtered in Plateau State even as the U.S. ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback was departing Nigeria.
Sam Brownback’s one-week visit was pockmarked with six suicide bombings by Boko Haram in one day (the largest single day detonations), deadly Shiite clashes with the police, altercations between local Muslims and a community, and continuing killings by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.
Overnight, I have been inundated with photos too gruesome to share here of horribly mutilated bodies of children hacked to death and even after death for maximal horror effect, charred corpses and bodies stacked in mass graves.
The sad thing is this is not the first time, nor will it be the last. In 2012 when Fulani massacred over 60 Christian villagers in Plateau State, an executive of the same cattle-rearing group said the same thing.
Worse still, some of the communities attacked this weekend were attacked previously. One community was part of the notorious 2010 Dogo Na Hawa Massacre in which 500 Christians were killed.
That massacre eight years ago spurred me to launch the “Justice For Jos” project that has evolved to covering Boko Haram atrocities. Ironically, the Herdsmen atrocities have continued unabated while Boko Haram hogged the spotlight.
We hear reports that authorities have ordered mass burials to hide the true casualties.
In amongst the horror, a kind-hearted and brave Muslim cleric told the BBC how he saved about 262 Christians from being killed in the last attack in villages in Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen. He said “upon seeing victims fleeing from suspected herdsmen who attacked Nghar Yelwa village, I opened the door of the mosque and hid them.”
Report by Emmanuel Ogebe founded Jubilee Campaign’s Justice for Jos Project, in Abuja, Nigeria.