Nigerian troops open fire on students protesting attacks against Christian villages

Apr 23, 2024 by

From: Release International.

There are reports that Nigerian soldiers have shot at students protesting over the lack of military protection for a Christian-majority area which came under attack by Fulani militia. Release International is calling for an inquiry.

The Nigerian authorities have acknowledged that two students were shot by security forces but claim they were hit by stray bullets. They say the army opened fire during what they describe as ‘emotional protests’.

Other sources say more students were wounded. They accuse the army of twice opening fire on civilian protesters in the space of a week.

In an unfolding situation with conflicting accounts, it’s claimed more than 40 mainly Christian farmers have been killed by Fulani militants over seven days, and that students who protested the lack of military protection have been fired on by the army.

UK-based Release International, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, is calling for an investigation.

‘Release International has repeatedly reported the failure of Nigerian military to protect Christian villagers, even when they have been warned in advance of attacks. But this is the first time we have heard that soldiers have opened fire on those they should be protecting,’ says Paul Robinson of Release International. 

‘Given these disturbing and conflicting accounts, the role of the military in these allegations must be investigated in full. An inquiry must also investigate the wider question: why, despite a military presence, are the attacks by Fulani militia continuing – even when the military is given due warning? 

‘More – much more – must be done to protect Nigeria’s vulnerable Christian communities.’

Violence rising

Release International highlighted Nigeria as a country where violence against Christians is rising in its 2024 Persecution Trends report. Nigerian NGO Intersociety say 52,000 Nigerian Christians have been killed by jihadists since 2009, and 18,000 churches destroyed.

Read here.

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