February 24, 2006

Crazy, Violent World

Meanwhile, in Nigeria:
Christian mobs, seeking revenge for the killings of Christians in the north, attacked Muslims with cutlasses, destroyed their houses and torched mosques in two days of violence in Onitsha, where at least 85 people have died.
It is all part of a wave of violence sweeping the country, where both politics and religion are cited as reasons for violence:
Thousands of people have been killed in religious violence in Africa's top oil exporter since the restoration of democracy in 1999. Killings in one part of the country often spark reprisals elsewhere.

The triggers for riots that killed 46 people, mostly Christians, in the northern cities of Maiduguri, Bauchi and Katsina at the weekend were different, but religious and secular leaders have linked them to political tensions.

In Maiduguri and Bauchi, the international row over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad and an alleged blasphemy started the trouble. In Katsina it was a constitutional review that many see as an attempt to keep Obasanjo in power.

Muslim rioters torched several churches and attacked Christians with guns, machetes and sticks.
And in the Darfur region of nearby Sudan, John Bolton's USA is isolated by the other UN countries after calling for a quick fix solution... three years too late:
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million herded into camps during more than three years of fighting in the remote western Sudanese region.

The United States, under growing pressure from religious groups to do more for Darfur, says genocide is taking place there with rape, looting and killing by Arab militias known as the Janjaweed.

The West accuses the government of backing the militias as proxy fighters against non-Arab rebels who took up arms in early 2003 after accusing the authorities of neglect.
This is obviously a situation where outsiders should be helping, not playing politics. See the Amnesty website for more background on the problems besetting these forgotten African nations.

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