Nigeria: November 17, 2001


In the southwest, police arrested six Pakistani Islamic radicals for inciting local Moslems to violence. Last years, fighting between Christians and Moslems in the area left over a hundred dead. In central Nigeria, Tiv and Jukun leaders agreed to a peace plan. The tension between the Tiv and Jukun tribes in central Nigeria continues to simmer, with violence restrained by the presence of thousands of police and soldiers. The Tiv are seen as troublesome interlopers, even though the Tiv moved here from the Congo some four centuries ago. There are now as many as three million Tiv in the region. But the major part of the problem is that the native Jukun have always had a paramount chief, the Aku Uka. The Tiv are more decentralized, with all the local chiefs consulting each other over any joint concerns. Since independence in 1960, the Jukun Aku Uka has tried to use regional power obtained during the British colonial power to help the Junkun against the Tiv where there were disputes over land and political patronage. The tension has been constant and has led to violence, In 1992, major fighting killed at least 5,000. Last June, more violence led 200 dead. The Tiv have formed armed militias and some of these killed 19 soldiers last month. Soldiers, in revenge, killed over 200 Tiv. The Tiv now feel threatened by the army and the Junkun, and continue to arm and train for battle. 


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