By Dele Anofi:

• Vatican, UK, US, UN, France condemn killings
• Tears flow as survivors relive bloody Sunday

The global community yesterday condemned Sunday’s killings in Dogo Nahawa, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The Vatican led the way. Then the United States, Britain. United Nations and France followed in expressing revulsion over the mayhem.

The condemnation came as villagers undertook the grim but necessary taste of burying the dead, mostly kids and women.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi lamented what he called “horrible acts of violence” in Nigeria.

The Vatican, he said, views with “sadness and concern” the violence.

Asked to comment on the nature of the conflict, Lombardi deferred to Nigerian Church authorities.

The Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, told Vatican Radio yesterday that the violence was rooted not in religion but in social, economic, tribal and cultural differences.

“Armed people, itinerant pastoralists … attacked the village of farmers of the Berom ethnic group,” he said, adding: “It is a classic conflict between pastoralists and farmers.”

US urged the Federal Government to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crisis.

The US Mission in Nigeria, in a statement by the Public Affairs Section, said: “We continue to urge all parties to exercise restraint and seek constructive means for addressing the continuing cycle of violence in Plateau State.

“Such loss of life and destruction cannot continue to weaken the fabric of unity and peace that all Nigerians love.

“We also call on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice under the rule of law and in a transparent manner, and on the Plateau State Government to ensure that all people and citizens in the Jos area feel that they are respected and protected.”

UN chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for “maximum restraint” by all sides in the conflict.

Ban told reporters that he was “deeply concerned” by the latest outbreak of inter-religious violence “with appalling loss life”.

“I appeal to all concerned to exercise maximum restraint,” Ban added. “Nigeria’s political and religious leaders should work together to address the underlying causes and to achieve a permanent solution to the crisis in Jos.”

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bob Dewar, condemned the incident and sent his condolences to the affected communities.

“I would like to express my condemnation of the killings that took place in Plateau State on Sunday. My condolences go out to the families of all those who were injured or murdered. I have today raised our concerns at senior levels with the Nigerian authorities and welcome their commitment to do everything possible to calm the situation, prevent any escalation in violence and to bring to justice those involved in violence. We continue to urge all parties to seek peaceful means to resolve their differences, including through inter-faith dialogue.”

France condemned the violence and endorsed the government’s plan to contain it.

“France firmly condemns the serious violence,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement.

“I express France’s support to the Nigerian authorities in their efforts to restore calm and bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice.”

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