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Nigeria Genocide Emergency January 2024

Jihadist militia murdered 197 Christians at Christmas 2023 in Plateau state

Nigeria Genocide Emergency

January 2024


Since 2000, 62,000 Christians in Nigeria have been victims of genocide perpetrated by Islamist extremist groups Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), and organized Fulani jihadists.


The International Committee on Nigeria calls this genocide the “Silent Slaughter.” 34,000 moderate Muslims have also been murdered by Islamist extremist groups since 2000.


Leah Sharibu, one of 110 school girls who were abducted by ISWAP militants in 2018, is still in captivity because she refuses to renounce her Catholic faith.


In June 2022,  more than 50 parishioners at St. Francis Xavier Church in Owo were massacred. The Nigerian government blamed the massacre on ISWAP. Locals pointed to Fulani militias.


Aid to the Church in Need reports that in 2022, four Catholic priests were killed in Nigeria, and 23 priests were kidnapped.


In April 2023 , the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) reported that since 2000, 18,000 Christian churches and 2,200 Christian schools have been deliberately set on fire. 


Nigerian church set on fire by Islamist jihadists

During the Christmas holiday in December 2023, over 140 Nigerian Christians were massacred in Plateau State in coordinated attacks by Fulani militias. Beginning on December 23, Fulani militias targeted 26 Christian farming villages across Plateau State. Many villagers sought refuge in the bush to escape the assailants and are still missing, indicating a death toll over 200.


In a speech delivered on January 11 in the British House of Lords, Lord David Alton urged the UK government to prioritize and promptly address the ongoing persecution of Christians in Nigeria. Emeka Umeagbalasi, the director of Intersociety, alleges that the Nigerian government is complicit in this forced displacement and genocide of Christian farmers by Fulani herders.


Due to systematic massacres of both Christians and moderate Muslims, and the government’s failure to stop the genocide, Genocide Watch considers Nigeria to be at Stage 5: Organization, Stage 6: Polarization, Stage 7: Preparation, Stage 8: Persecution, Stage 9: Extermination and Stage 10: Denial.


Genocide Watch Recommends:


  • The UN Human Rights Council and the Nigerian government should establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate attacks on civilians and report to the Nigerian government and the UN Human Rights Council.


  • The Nigerian Army and police should establish a Strike Force, trained by international counter-terrorism experts, to investigate and arrest leaders of Boko Haram, ISWAP, and Fulani jihadists.


  • Nigerian religious leaders should establish a network of monitors to provide early warnings of attacks.


  • The U.S. State Department should stop its denial of this genocide in Nigeria. The Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, and the Legal Advisor on Africa should be reassigned to other posts.


  • The US should appoint a Special Envoy to Nigeria to directly advise President Biden and bypass State Department genocide deniers. Nigeria should be again designated a Country of Particular Concern.


  • US and European churches should be informed about this genocide of Christians. They should pressure their governments to take forceful action to help the Nigerian government stop this genocide.

Nigeria Genocide Emergency 2024
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