NIGERIA – 3-year-old among those killed in brutal attack on Christian village

CVHN | Libby Giesbrecht | June7, 2020

Ten people, including a three-year-old girl, are dead following a brutal attack on a Christian village in Nigeria.

An early-morning attack in Nigeria’s Kaduna State by armed Fulani herdsmen was fatal for several villagers, the Christian Post reports.

Elizabeth Samaila, only three-years-old, died after suffering multiple lacerations to the head, delivered by a machete. She died earlier this week in hospital shortly after the attack took place, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a report.

“What is particularly unacceptable is that her death is the latest to occur in a series of attacks which continue unabated,” says Mervyn Thomas, chief executive for CSW.

“Southern Kaduna is steadily being transformed into killing fields, either due to a gross failure of governance, or official indifference and acquiescence.”

Nine others were also killed in the attack. They were buried in a mass grave after six of the individuals were identified.

An eight-year-old girl was wounded in the attack. She is among many who suffered head trauma and other injuries after the herdsmen invaded their village.

Seven villagers remain unaccounted for.

Radial Fulani herdsmen are known to target Christian villages, similar to the attacks of Boko Haram in more northern areas of Nigeria.

A report released earlier this year by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) estimates nearly 12,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria in the past five years by Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram, and highway bandits.

Intersociety also estimates more than 620 Christians have been slaughtered in 2020 alone in Nigeria.

Thomas says pressure must come to protect Christians in the country.

“International pressure must now be brought to bear on both the state and federal authorities to ensure protection for these vulnerable communities, and that effective action is taken to disarm all armed non-state actors and bring the perpetrators of these horrific atrocities to justice.”

In the southern Kaduna state last year, two members of the Adara community, which is a majority-Christian ethnic group, shared their experiences of trauma and violence.

Alheri Magaji, daughter of the Adara Chief, says her tribe is now legally nonexistent.