A report by www.worldwatchmonitor.org has detailed how Fulani herdsmen have seized and occupied 16 villages in southern Kaduna with their cattle and families, after terrorising Christian natives. According to the report, there were a string of other attacks against indigenous Christian communities in southern Kaduna over the 2016 Christmas period. “The gunmen came to my village. As they entered, they were shouting and chanting ‘Allahu akhbar’ [Allah is the greatest], and in the twinkling of an eye, 45 people were killed. They burnt churches and houses,” said a survivor, who did not wish to be named.
Between 7-12 January, a large number of heavily-armed Fulani herdsmen targeted the Christian communities of Kagoro and Kafanchan, two towns where families have been hosting people displaced by previous attacks, local sources told World Watch Monitor. According to the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across four local government areas in southern Kaduna from April to the end of 2016. The church leaders said 57 people were injured; farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion (US$18m) was destroyed, and a total of 1,422 houses and 16 churches were burnt down. Conflict in southern Kaduna has a long history more than the issues of indigenes versus settlers, Christians versus Muslims or farmers versus herdsmen, Christians say it’s about marginalisation and exclusion. Since colonial times, there has been the imposition of Hausa-Fulani Muslim chiefs over minority-Christian groups. Many indigenous ethnic groups have been forcefully brought under the Sokoto Caliphate
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