UN rights office says 'concerned' at Nigeria violence

9th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The office of the United Nation rights chief expressed concern on Friday at violence in central Nigeria, which it said had reportedly killed up to 70 people since the beginning of August.

"We are concerned about the renewed violence which has flared up in Nigeria's 'Middle Belt' in recent weeks causing death, injury and destruction," Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters.

"Ethnic and religious divisions have affected (central Nigeria), particularly in and around Jos, for many years now and a cycle of violence has emerged in which each incident almost invariably provokes deadly reprisal attacks," he said.

Jos, which lies in the region between the predominantly Christian south and mainly Muslim north of Africa's most populous nation, has been hit by waves of attacks between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups that have left hundreds dead in recent years.

On Friday, an attack on the central Nigeria village of Barkin Ladi, on the outskirts of Jos, killed nine people including seven siblings, according to a local government official.

"We encourage the authorities at national and local levels to take effective preventative measures against such violence ... to attempt reconciliation between the various communities," Colville said.

"It is of utmost importance that justice is done and is seen to be done by prosecuting the alleged perpetrators of violence and ensuring remedies for victims and their families," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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