from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AT least 27 people have been killed during clashes by ethnic and religious groups in northern Nigeria since the middle of March.
Thirty-six (36) others have been injured and more than 4 100 displaced from their homes.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has reported the clashes in the north-central and north-west zones from March 14 to 20.
The regions are afflicted with a multidimensional crisis rooted in long-standing tensions between the above mentioned groups.
Banditry and kidnappings are widespread along major highways.
“During the past years, the crisis has accelerated because of the intensification of attacks and has resulted in widespread displacement across the region,” IOM stated.
During the assessment period this month, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified an estimated 4 216 individuals who were affected by the attacks.
The states of Benue, Kaduna, Sokoto and Zamfara were afflicted by the clashes.
With an estimated 215 million people, Nigeria is the continent’s biggest country by population.
It is also among the most diverse with between 250 and 400 ethnic groups.
There is debate as to which between Christianity and Islam is the bigger religion.
Census results–especially the distribution between the Muslim north and the Christian south—have often sparked controversy, including the last count in 2006.
– CAJ News