Peace-building organizations aid Christians targeted by Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria

Mark Lipdo of the Stefanos Foundation says the organization has “been able to supply food to those who are in camps” as well as “medical care for those” who have been injured by violent attacks and Christians.

For over a decade, towns in North-Central Nigeria have been at the receiving end of a battery of violent attacks carried out by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. Now the Fulani militia, a mostly Muslim ethnic group, is also terrorizing the country’s Christian communities.
MARK LIPDO
Stefanos Foundation, Nigeria
“The Fulani militia come in the night, armed with machetes and guns, and they scare the people by shooting sporadically, and anyone that comes out, they start ‘machete-ing’ and hacking them down.”
Mark Lipdo of the Stefanos Foundation, a peace-building initiative and partner of Release International, recounts the tragic attack carried out by armed Fulani militia against the Baptist village of Gonan Rogo, in Kaduna state, in mid-May. Lipdo explains that on top of being part of the Fulani herdsmen’s occupation strategy, these violent attacks are fueled by religious intolerance.
That’s why Release International, dedicated to providing aid to persecuted people, is also contributing resources to help those who have been injured or driven from their homes.
MARK LIPDO
Stefanos Foundation, Nigeria
“So what Release International have been doing is that the funding they give us, we have been able to supply food to those who are in camps. We’ve also been able to provide medical care for those who are in need, particularly those who have been shot, with gunshot wounds, left with machete wounds and all that. They need medical care, but most of the time they are neglected to do that for themselves.”
Lipdo says the Nigerian government has fallen short in taking action to rectify the situation. He explains this could be because many officials are Fulani themselves, and because of a lack of support.
MARK LIPDO
Stefanos Foundation, Nigeria
“Because the international community will not accept our belief that the Fulani are out to fight a jihad for their own benefit, they only excuse them for saying that they are, you know, running away from desertification.”
Climate change might play one part, but it’s not the whole picture. The international community can no longer ignore the plight of ethnic non-Muslim Nigerians, particularly Christians, who find themselves threatened by complete annihilation at the hands of both the Fulani militia and Boko Haram.