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Ethnic Conflict: Nigeria

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Pauline Mock

on 3 February 2015

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Transcript of Ethnic Conflict: Nigeria

Ethnic Conflict: Nigeria
The ethnic conflict in Nigeria began about 30 years ago when Northern Nigeria adopted Sharia Law once again. In doing so, people with Christian views opposed of this action and tension began. Within Nigeria, there are three different ethnic groups that are present: the Hausa-Fulani, the Yoruba, and the Igbo. The Hausa-Fulani group is mostly in the Muslim North, while the Yoruba group is in the southwestern part of Nigeria, and the Igbo group is located in southeastern Nigeria. In doing so, there is even more ethnic conflict in the Hausa-Fulani group as they hold tensions between each other. Moreover, the ethnic conflict in Nigeria has become violent and uncontrollable as the government plays a minor role in the conflict.
What type of ethnic conflict is it?
The ethnic conflict in Nigeria has a lot of tension and violence as different groups within target each other. More specifically, the Hausa and Fulani group constantly target each other in violent acts. One instance reported that 69 people were killed in a raid as Hausa and Fulani groups have a dispute about land. Another instance reported that at least 30 people were killed in a violent attack between those in the Jukun group, who are mostly Christian, and the Hausa and Fulani group. Within the dispute, houses were burned down and innocent lives were lost. Moreover, the conflict has tension between two religious groups: the Northern Muslims and Southern Christians. Where their borders meet, there is a lot of tension and violent outbreaks, with little government control.
What is the spatial extent of the conflict?
Nigeria is split into two sections: the Northern and the Southern sections. Within each section, there is a different religion; thus, the ethnic conflict becomes visible. In the North, the majority of the people are Muslim, and in the South, the majority of the people are Christian. Where the two regions meet, there is a lot of violence, and within Nigeria, two-thirds of the people live in poverty.
How long was there tension within the conflict?
Tension within the conflict started in 1999 when there was a change in government to democracy. In doing so, people had more rights and a say within the government. With the shift in government, it allowed Northern Nigerian states to adopt the Sharian Law from 1999 to 2002. Once the Sharian Laws came into play, Christians were unhappy with the choices people had made in regards of changing religions; thus, tension began to build between the two religions and the ethnic groups within it. Riots started to break out and many lives were lost. However, recently tension involving the two groups have declined, and more issues in regards of land have appeared.
Who has been effected and how?
Within Nigeria, there are many people who live in poverty, and they are the ones who are hit the hardest. The government is very weak in Nigeria, and they have little control as to what goes on in the seperated country. Moreover, those who live in poverty have little to nothing in their possession, and when raids and attacks happen around their area, they nearly lose everything that they have. Furthermore, those who possess land are also effected as those who have land conflicts and often experience land raids must protect their land. Other than that, at a much wider scale, mostly everyone is effected because of the poverty levels. Although Nigeria is oil rich, people barely make anything to live the lifestyle that we live today.
Example of how the conflict presents itself?
At a global scale, the conflict presents itself in a way where there is a large economic impact. Nigeria is an oil rich country, but nearly two-thirds of the population lives in poverty and makes less than a dollar a day. At a regional scale, the ethnic conflict creates refugees who seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Cameroon, Niger, and Chad due to violence and lack of government intervention. Lastly, at a local scale, the conflict presents itself as an ongoing situation as lives are lost daily and tension remains within ethnic groups.
By: Pauline B. Mock
When did the conflict start?
In what ways has the conflict manifested?
The Nigerian ethnic conflict started out as a conflict between two religious groups that do not agree on the laws in which they follow. More specifically, it started out as a conflict between the Northern Muslims and Southern Christians. After a few years, it groups within each religion appeared, and more tension was created between the two sides. Violence and bloodshed broke out as disputes about land happened. To add on to that, recently due to the Ebola outbreak, more lives were lost and many more people found it easier to take advantage of weaker areas. Those in Nigeria even seen refuge in neighboring countries as they find that the government is hostile and can not provide for them and handle the violence that is occuring.
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