Poverty, inequality and injustice are threatening to trigger a broad sectarian conflict in Nigeria, an international Christian-Muslim task force said on Wednesday.
Clashes between Nigerian Christians and Muslims have already killed hundreds of people this year alone. But although the violence is the worst between members of the two faiths since the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, the root causes go far beyond religion, the group’s report said.
Corruption, mismanagement, land disputes and the lack of aid for victims or punishment for troublemakers have all fuelled tensions, especially in Nigeria’s “Middle Belt”, where the mostly Muslim north meets the largely Christian south, it said.
Attacks by radical Islamist groups such as Boko Haram that exploit these secular issues and revenge killings by Christian and Muslim gangs have reinforced the religious aspect of the violence.