- Nigerian authorities have been urged to investigate and prosecute members of security forces allegedly involved in the killing of 130 people in the November 2008 Jos violence.
The Human Rights Watch said the Plateau State Judicial Commission of Inquiry should dig deeper into last year’s violence between Muslim and Christian mobs left more than hundred people dead.
A researcher, Eric Guttschuss, who testified before the commission yesterday in Jos, revealed that policemen and soldiers gunned down unarmed citizens in their homes, chasing down and killing men trying to flee to safety, and lining victims up on the ground and summarily executing them.
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry was set up by the Plateau State government in central Nigeria to look into the causes of the Jos violence and to identify the individuals or groups responsible for the violence.
Nigeria's federal government has also established a Presidential Panel of Investigation, which has yet to hold hearings after repeated delays.
The international rights organisation found out that while most of the deadly inter-communal clashes took place on 28 November, the vast majority of killings by the police and military came on 29 November, a day that the Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, issued a "shoot-on-sight" directive to the security forces.
Human Rights Watch documented 118 cases of alleged arbitrary killings by the security forces that took place between 7 am and 1 pm on 29 November alone.
The organisation has urged the federal government of Nigeria to address the root causes of the violence, including by passing nationwide legislation, banning all forms of discrimination against non-indigenes, with respect to any matter not directly related to traditional leadership institutions or other purely cultural matters.
"The government should consider the sectarian killings in Jos as a wake-up call to address the longstanding problems of discrimination and inequality that in large part underpin and contribute to this kind of violence," HRW official said.
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