Posted by: becketfund | December 1, 2008

Nigeria: Deadly Riots Tied to Disputed Elections

JOS – This Nigerian region’s contested election on November 27, the first held in over a decade, devolved into ethnic and religious violence resulting in 300 deaths, the AP reported on December 1. The violence began on November 28 amid reports that the governing People’s Democratic Party had prevailed over the main opposition All National People’s Party, where opposition members alleged the vote in one ward had been rigged. The clashes ended on November 29 after the military was deployed. The central city of Jos is inhabited by the predominantly Muslim and pastoralist northern population and the predominantly Christian and animist southern farming communities. The northern and southern communities attempt to utilize the region for disparate purposes resulting in an intense struggle over limited resources. The structure of Nigeria’s government exacerbates ethnic tensions, in that local governments control enormous budgets in Africa’s biggest oil producer, making winning an election highly lucrative.

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