Nigeria’s president orders army to end unrest

Rival groups have clashed in Plateau state on numerous occasions over the past decade. More than 1,000 people have died in the past two years.

Hausa-speaking Muslims are seen as supporters of the opposition in Plateau state, while ethnic Beroms, who are mostly Christian, are perceived to favour the People’s Democratic Party, which is in power at both state and federal level.

The president’s office said in a statement that Mr Jonathan had directed Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin “to take full charge of the security situation in Plateau State immediately and take all necessary actions to stop the recent spate of killings in the state”.

Two blasts went off at a packed outdoor eatery in the centre of Jos on Sunday night, security officials said. A witness said at least one person was injured, the AFP news agency reports.

The state lies in Nigeria’s so-called Middle Belt, between the mainly Muslim north and Christian south.
The violence is widely seen as religious, but there are many other factors that trigger it, including political rivalry, observers say.

Hausa-speaking Muslims are seen as supporters of the opposition in Plateau state, while ethnic Beroms, who are mostly Christian, are perceived to favour the People’s Democratic Party, which is in power at both state and federal level.

 

But the president’s order to the chief of defence comes a day after two bomb explosions hit the state capital Jos.
The conflict has continued despite a strong security force presence.

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