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Ethnicity, politics, land, religion and deadly clashes in Jos, Nigeria

Abstract : Over the last two decades, Nigeria has experienced at least 2, 500 violent events in the form of riots, protests, terrorist attacks, and other expressions of collective brutality. In addition to the insurgency led by the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad [People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad], also known as Boko Haram, in the north east, the country’s ethnically diverse landscape is marked by frequent indigene-settler conflicts and farmer-herder clashes in the central belt, separatist agitations in the south east and militancy in the Niger Delta. Over 40, 000 people have been killed. While most parts of the country have witnessed one form of violence or the other, incidents of large-scale violence are disproportionately concentrated in the central region also known as the “Middle Belt”. The media often describe these conflicts as “religious crises” and reconciliatory measures have focused on engaging Christian and Muslim leaders to broker peace. This article argues that labelling these clashes “religious” is a gross oversimplification and has motivated an intervention approach that focuses on interreligious reconciliation without paying attention to the underlying issues. As episodes of riots in the city of Jos suggest, collective violence in the region is a culmination of several factors. In the towns and cities, violent riots stem from contestations between indigenes and settlers over rights, distributable resources and political power whereas struggles between farmers and pastoralists over land are at the heart of mass killings in the rural areas. Measures aimed at promoting peace have not yielded concrete results because they have sidestepped these factors. In addition to building links across religious divides, an effective peacebuilding strategy should address the long-running contestations over indigeneity, resource-based competition, power tussles and struggles related to land ownership and use...
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https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03471638
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 10:54:10 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 3:48:07 AM

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Kingsley Madueke. Ethnicity, politics, land, religion and deadly clashes in Jos, Nigeria. [Research Report] Centre de recherches internationales; Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités. 2018. ⟨hal-03471638⟩

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