Three Nigerian Christians Killed While Trying to Stop Attack on Village by Fulani Militants

The bodies of two men killed in a Fulani Muslim attack | Dalyop Solomon

Three Nigerian Christians were murdered Tuesday while fending off an armed attack by suspected Fulani militants who are also believed to have kidnapped a woman.

A peaceful night turned violent when armed extremists, believed to be affiliated with a Fulani tribe, fired their guns at the Christian village of Gura-Pwana, south of the Nigerian city of Jos, said Swanta Kumai in an interview with the Emancipation Center for Crisis Victims in Nigeria.

The gunfire woke his 28-year-old son, Joseph Swanta, from his sleep. Together, they rushed from their home without weapons in an attempt to frighten the attackers away and warn neighbors. They split up when his son ran to warn neighbors to shut off their loud power generator.

“Unbeknown to him, the attackers had already spotted his movement. When coming out, they went after him with heavy fire and shot him dead,” Kumai said. “The invaders grouped themselves into four, strategically positioned so that no one can dare them. That’s how I saw them shooting at me from a very close range, but I [managed to] escape with bruises [from crawling away.]”

Joseph Swanta served in an unarmed vigilante group that tried to protect Christians from Fulani attacks, ECCVN coordinator Dalyop Solomon told The Christian Post. After the attack, Solomon investigated the aftermath at the village to report what happened.

Nigeria’s laws forbid gun ownership and the police often fail to help Christian villages, so Christians often attempt to defend themselves by trying to intimidate away armed men, he said.

“They hope to rush to the scene of the incident and by storm create an impression that people are not psychologically threatened,” Solomon said. “You can see how suicidal that is.”

Swanta tried to stop the attack along with two other unarmed men, Solomon said. Davou Mwanti, at 59 years old, and Dalyop Davou, a 70 year old. The attackers shot and killed all three.

“[Dalyop Davou] was a watchman killed at his duty post,” his 62-year-old wife, Shetu Davou, told ECCVN. “We had always depended on him for every material need from his earnings. But he is no more today, leaving us to fend for ourselves. I don’t know what to do now.”

Fulani tribesmen killed Davou’s son in a previous attack in 2011. This year, Islamist militias in Nigeria murdered an estimated 1,202 Christians within the first six months of the year. These murders amount to genocide, according to Jubilee Campaign USA, which submitted data and research to the International Criminal Court last year, arguing that the standard for genocide has been reached when it comes to violence against Christians in that country.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jackson Elliott