Stop the Bleeding on the Plateau

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The recent massacre of scores of people in Plateau State is a grave cause for concern. Within the first forty-eight hours of turning the villages in Mangu LGA into killing fields, over 100 people had been killed. Already over 130 women, children, and men have been confirmed dead in these communities. They were killed in cold blood in their homes. Their houses were destroyed and over a hundred buildings burned down. This latest, in a series of such horrendous massacres, has also left over 3,000 people displaced. 

This situation is unacceptable; SWL condemns it in the most categorical terms and expresses our deepest sympathies to all those who have lost family members and loved ones.

The failure of the Nigerian state to stop the killing is matched only by its failure to bring the killers to justice, time and again, or to address the root causes of continued violence on the Plateau and across the land. 

The people of Plateau cannot place their trust in the police. SWL fully supports the call for the Plateau State Youth Council (PYC) for self-defense.  However, community self-defense cannot be taken in a voluntarist manner by each individual to herself or himself. The residents of areas such as Mangu that have been under attack need to assert their rights to self-defence as citizens. 

We demand the training and provision of arms to these communities, to be able to defend themselves. 

by Lionel AKPOYIVO

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