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Nigeria's Jos remains tense after Christmas terror attacks

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Police failings?

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemned the attacks and supported the government’s pledge to arrest the perpetrators. The local police commissioner, Abdulrahman Akano, swears that the situation is under control. But local residents have been vocal, condemning the police for failing to protect them.

“The secretary-general is appalled by the violence that caused the loss of so many innocent lives,” the UN said in a statement yesterday, adding that Mr. Ban backs “efforts by the Nigerian authorities to bring those responsible to justice.” Tensions between the ethnic Berom community, which tends to be Christian, and the ethnic Fulani community, which tends to be Muslim, have been a staple for Jos from the days when British missionaries arrived at this central Nigerian outpost, and realized they had reached their limit.

Militant Islamist preachers often say that Nigeria would have been been turned into a wholly Islamic state, led by the powerful sultanate of Sokoto, if not for the arrival of British colonial administrators in the late 19th century, which halted any further Muslim expansion. This viewpoint represents the fringe, and border towns in the central region generally see peaceful coexistence between the two communities, until a militant group from one side or the other decides to stir things up.

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