Christian farmers killed in Nigerian conflict
HUNDREDS of mostly Christian farmers have died in Nigeria over recent months when a simmering conflict with the mostly Muslim Fulani herdsmen has spilt over into deadly clashes, human-rights groups and charities report. While analysts suggest that the violence began as the two groups competed for land, the sectarian character of the conflict has provoked reprisals by faith-based militias. Christian leaders, including the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and the UK charity Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, have suggested that Christians are now being targeted for their faith, and that government security forces are failing to prevent it.
Archbishop condemns ‘witchcraft’ murders
THE Primate of Papua New Guinea, the Most Revd Allan Migi, has strongly criticised a spate of killings in which the victims had been accused of practising witchcraft. He said that one case in which a child was murdered amounted to “child abuse in its worst form”, the Anglican Communion News Service reports. Both sorcery and taking someone’s life were “evil” and unacceptable in a “Christian country”, the Archbishop said.
Don’t forget IDPs, Christian Aid warns
INTERNALLY displaced persons (IDPs) — who remain in their countries after being forced to flee their homes — are being overlooked 20 years after a landmark UN agreement on the issue, Christian Aid has said. Although there were twice as many IDPs as refugees, and their numbers had risen by ten million in four years, new UN discussions on the refugee crisis had sidelined IDPs, Christian Aid’s political adviser, Tom Viita, said; and UN guidelines agreed 20 years ago were vital, but political interest in implementation had waned just as the problem had spiralled out of control.
Congolese refugees cross lake in thousands
MORE than 22,000 refugees who have fled violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have crossed Lake Albert into Uganda, the UN has reported. At least four people died in the crossing when their boat capsized. Hundreds of refugees were crowding into rickety boats and canoes for the ten-hour voyage, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in Switzerland. Refugees who have managed to cross the lake to safety have spoken of increasing attacks on civilians by armed militias in the DRC. At least 120,000 Congolese have fled the violence in the past year, but only one per cent of the £267 million of humanitarian funds that the UNHCR has appealed for has been received so far.