In wake of the recent violence in the Jos region of Nigeria that left 200 people dead, the director of the Holy See’s Press office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, expressed “concern and horror” over the bloody events.
Fr. Lombardi also explained that the violence, which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, should be seen “not as a religious, but a social confrontation.” The attacks were carried out by shepherds of the Muslim Fulani ethnic group against three villages of Christian farmers belonging to the Berom ethnicity.
“This is a classic conflict between herdsmen and farmers,” Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria told Vatican Radio on Monday. He also noted that, though the international media often links such violence to a religious conflict, “This is not the case, because they don’t kill each other due to religion, but for social, economic, tribal, (or) cultural demands."
He also said that the Church is working to “to promote good relations between Christians and Muslims and we seek also to come to an agreement in trying to curb the violence and work together to face concrete political and ethical problems."