Mon, December 27, 2010
World > Africa

World leaders condemn violence in Nigeria

2010-12-27 09:55:11 GMT2010-12-27 17:55:11 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JOS, Nigeria Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- World leaders and government officials have condemned the deadly violence that broke out in parts of Nigeria in recent days and reportedly killed at least 30 people and injured more than 70 others.

In the latest development, multiple blasts in central Nigeria's troubled city of Jos killed at least 32 people on Christmas Eve, adding to the toll of hundreds in the Muslim-Christian clashes this year.

Jean Ping, the African Union Commission chairperson, on Sunday in Addis Ababa condemned Saturday's terrorist attacks in two states of Nigeria.

A statement issued by the Communication and Information unit of the AU Peace and Security Council said the chairperson was shocked and sad at the two incidents that occurred on the same day.

The chairperson has learnt with shock and sadness of the string of bomb attacks that hit Jos in the north central state and the attack on Churches in Maiduguri on Dec. 24, which resulted in the killing of 38 civilians, while dozens were wounded, the statement said.

Ping condemned in strongest terms these cowardly terrorists attacks, which could not be justified under any circumstances.

He extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and prayed for the speedy recovery of those wounded.

The chairperson, who reaffirmed the determination of the AU to combat terrorism, said the commission would continue to support the efforts being deployed by member states in combating the menace.

Also, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday condemned the violence that broke out in Jos.

A UN statement said Ban expressed his support for efforts by the Nigerian authorities to bring those responsible to justice.

The UN chief conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Nigeria.

The Christmas Eve bomb explosions at Anguwan Rukuba of Kabong Satellite Market and the flyover at Gada Biyu, which were carried out simultaneously, had renewed tensions in the state.

There were reportedly further clashes in Jos on Sunday.

Tension remained high in the city following bomb blasts that rocked Kabong and Angwan Rukuba villages in Jos in the North Local Government area of Plateau State on Friday.

Similarly, Sa'ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, on Sunday in Lagos described the Christmas Eve bombings in Jos as a national calamity.

Abubakar was reacting to the multiple bomb blasts in Plateau State that killed 32 people on Saturday.

He told reporters at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport that it was a sad event at a period of celebration.

"The whole world is coming together to celebrate, and then we are busy getting innocent lives being lost, it is a very unfortunate circumstance," he said.

"All religious and political leaders have spoken for over a long time, and I think we must find a way to put an end to this," he told reporters.

"Let me call it a national calamity. It is only in Jos where you have such incidence happening. But, why are they happening? We must find out," Abubakar added.

He urged newsmen to be care in reporting such incidents in order not cause religious crisis in the country.

"I think the earlier the newsmen stop painting such issues as religious, the better for us," he said.

"We all know that it is not religious, we know that. When anything happens where Christian and Muslims are involved people say it is religious," Abubakar added.

"No. It is not religious, why is it not happening in Sokoto, why is not happening in other places," the traditional ruler told reporters.

"What happened in Port-Harcourt, between the Ogoni is not religious crisis; whenever a Christian is involved in any fracas they will say it is religious," the Sultan said.

Meanwhile, some groups have condemned the latest bombings in Jos, describing it as barbaric and a national tragedy.

The groups were the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Movement for Islamic Cultural Awareness (MICA) and Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA).

In a statement, MURIC Director, Ishaq Akintola, said the group was deeply disturbed by the national tragedy.

"We strongly condemn the use of terrorist tactics like bomb explosions to settle scores," the statement said.

"This is a dastardly act. It is barbaric, inhuman and insane. The perpetrators are unpatriotic and unscrupulous elements bent on turning Nigeria into a wide battle field," it added.

"MURIC is particularly saddened by the timing of the blasts coming on Christmas eve," it said.

"Some Nigerians are yet to come to grips with the factor of fate which brought Muslims and Christians as well as different tribes together in the same country," it added.

MURIC urged the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and make them face the full wrath of the law.

It appealed to religious and tribal leaders in the affected area to call their followers to order and ensure that everything necessary was done to avoid further bloodshed.

The association also implored Nigerians not to allow the unfortunate incident to destroy the atmosphere of peaceful co- existence which the rest of the country had been enjoying for decades.

In the same vein, MMPN in a statement by its chairman, Abdurrahman Balogun, condemned the dastardly act, saying the group was stunned by the latest violence in Jos.

It called on the authorities to fish out the perpetrators of the killings and bring them to book without further delay.

In another statement, MICA Coordinator in Abuja, Abdulbasit Bakare, said the seemingly unending cycle of violence and killings in Jos must stop.

"It is sad that ethnic and religious rivalry in Plateau State has degenerated into deep ethnic hatred and killings of innocent people," it added.

"This dangerous trend must stop forthwith," MICA said.

On his part, Ahmed Popoola, National President of UNIFEMGA in a statement condemned the bombings and urged leaders of all sectors to refrain from making inflammatory statements.

"The people of Plateau must learn to live together in harmony, embracing one another for the sake of themselves and to ensure peace and stability without which meaningful progress would be unattainable," he added.

The group prayed to Allah to grant the families of the victims of the bomb blasts the fortitude to bear the loss.

The blast came one week after a Nigerian court sentenced 15 persons to 10 years each in prison for involvement of the violent crisis in Jos in March.

Jos was plunged in a pool of blood on March 7, when members of local Muslim and Christian communities fought each other in revenge for previous killings.

Police said 109 people were slain in the March 7 tragedy, mostly women and children, weeks after hundreds died in waves of sectarian violence in the region.

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