Date:  April 29, 2022

Assailants burn down 92 homes.

By Our Nigeria Correspondent

ABUJA, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen and others on Tuesday night (April 26) attacked four villages in Kaduna state, Nigeria, killing 18 Christians and burning down 92 houses, sources said.

The killings took place in three of the four villages. In Kauru County, the assailants killed 11 Christians in Ungwan Rimi village, six in Ungwan Magaji village and one at Kitakum village, said Abel Habila Adamu, president of the Chawai Development Association (CDA), in a press statement.

“Despite the ongoing peace talks between the Fulani herdsmen and the Christians of host communities in Tsam Chiefdom by relevant stakeholders, international organizations and NGOs, yet peace seems to be elusive as there are continuous attacks on the peace-loving people of Ungwan, Rimi Ungwan Magaji and Kitagum communities, all in Kamaru ward of Tsam Chiefdom, Kauru LGA, Kaduna state,” Adamu said.

He said the attacks injured seven Chritians and destroyed 92 homes.

“The Chawai (Tsam) Development Association condemns in strong terms the resurfacing of unabated attacks on our land and people by bandits and herdsmen,” Adamu said.

Killed in Ungwan Rimi were Daniel Sunday, 47; Andrew John, 27; Ariko Adi, 28; Jummai Thomas, 87; Monday Gani, 29; John Amah, 52; David Amah, 63; Malu David, 31; Moris Kure, 53; Ravo Agah, 61; and Sati Ringo, 39, according to Adamu.

He identified the slain at Ungwan Magaji village as Danladi Adaraso, 56; Monday Yerima, 50; Tupac John, 40; Malu Vulah, 45; Lydia Danladi, 30; and Mary Danladi, 27. In Kitakum village, 102-year-old Garba Akur was killed.

Three wounded Christians were identified in the attack on Ungwan Magaji: Ayuba Adamu, Bawa Joshua and Asabe Danladi. Adamu identified one person injured, Audu Tulu, at a fourth village, Ungwan Makera.

In Ungwan Rimi, 52 houses were destroyed, while residents of Kitakum lost 32 homes and those in Ungwan Makera lost eight, he said. Dozens of motorcycles were burned, and two were stolen, he said.

Area residents lamented the bloodshed in text messages to Morning Star News.

“Herdsmen have again carried out raids on four of our villages in Chawai Chiefdom of Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna state,” said Barnabas Barazan. “It is unfortunate that these attacks have continued without end. Arise, oh Lord, and let your enemies be scattered!”

Micah Magaji wrote, “We are again saddened with the invasion of four villages of Chawai in Kauru Local Government Area. God of vengeance, we look up to thee.”

“Attacks on our Christian communities carried out by armed herdsmen and terrorists have continued to affect us,” wrote Yohanna Chawai. “We pray God to comfort us all at this moment of grief.”

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.

Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.

In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.