Cablegate: New Ethno-Religious Violence in Adamawa State

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

111251Z Jun 04



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. At least nine and as many as 50 were killed in Numan,
Adamawa State, on June 8 in ethno-religious fighting that
began over the rebuilding of a mosque near the palace of
the Christian Bachama ethnic group's traditional leader.
Several mosques and homes were burned, and many residents
have fled the area. Governor Haruna imposed a dusk-to-dawn
curfew and asked security forces to shoot troublemakers on
sight: "Police, Army, direct your men, anybody found
causing trouble, I mean anybody, should be killed."

2. Exactly one year before, on June 8, 2003, about 100
were killed in Numan in a riot sparked by the killing of a
Christian evangelist by a Muslim waterseller. Numan's
central mosque was burned in that violence. The mosque's
reconstruction by the ethnic Hausa minority had been halted
by court order due to complaints from the ethnic Bachama
majority that the reconstructed minaret was now taller than
the Christian traditional ruler's palace.

3. Adamawa Gov. Haruna in the northeast was not as quick
as Kebbi State Gov. Aliero in the northwest at a different
ethno-religious fracas in Jega a week ago (reftel), but the
impulse was the same. All remember that violence in
Plateau State led to a State of Emergency declaration that
sacked Gov. Dariye there.

4. In Benue State there are reports that ethnic violence
between other tribes' militias this week killed 5-20 people
in the Ullam/Ugambe area. Benue's Deputy Governor
described the stories as "completely false," perhaps using
a different tactic for political and humanitarian (in the
sense of forestalling revenge attacks) survival.

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