Nigeria: October 15, 2000


In the southern city of Lagos, fighting broke out at night between Yoruba and Hausa. It appears that the attacks were organized by the Yoruba OPC. Only a few deaths have been reported, but the violence appears to be rapidly escalating. The 30 million (largely Christian) Yoruba and 40 million (largely Moslem) Hausa are the two largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. The Yoruba's are mainly in the south, the Hausa in the north. The current dispute began over a long simmering dispute. In central Nigeria, the Yoruba town of Ilorin has since a Hausa-Yoruba war in 1845, been ruled by a Hausa Emir. The prospect of having to live under Sharia law has inflamed the Yoruba and hundreds have died in such religious conflicts over the  last year.


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