Massacres spark protests

Hundreds of women have taken to the
streets of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and the central city of Jos in rallies
against Sunday’s massacre near Jos.

The women, mostly dressed in black,
demanded that the government protects women and children better.

At least 109 people were killed in
the ethnic clashes near Jos. Many were said to be women and children.

Witnesses and officials say the
perpetrators came from the mainly Muslim Fulani group. Most of the victims were
Christians from the Berom group.

The attacks appear to be
retaliation for violence in the villages around Jos in January, when most of
the victims were said to be Muslim.

The women in Jos carried placards
proclaiming: “Stop killing our future; Bloodshed in the Plateau [State]
must stop.”

They marched carrying Bibles,
wooden crosses or branches of mango trees, chanting: “No more soldiers.”

Christian pastor Esther Ebanga told
the crowds of women: “Enough is enough.”

“All we are asking is that our
children and women should not be killed anymore.”

Meanwhile in Abuja, women staged a
similar rally, carrying pictures of the dead.

Risika Razak, one of the leaders of
the protest, said she wanted to show the government that “things are not
going right”.

“They should beef up security
in troubled areas so that we would be able to know that people that go to bed
will wake up the next day and life will continue,” she said.

Officials and religious leaders
have accused the military of not acting quickly enough to prevent the massacre.

But on Thursday, the commander of
the regional task force, Major General Salih Maina, rebuffed the criticism.

He said the army was told of the
violence only after it had happened.