Special force deployed to Kaduna following communal killings


Nigeria deployed a special police force to restore calm in the northern state of Kaduna following communal violence that killed 55 people in the last few days, President Muhammadu Buhari said.

The Kaduna state government imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sunday after violence broke out on the streets of the state capital city, also Kaduna.

The violence in the state capital follows clashes between communities in Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna which left 55 dead.

Locals said clashes broke out between Muslims and Christians in the area, 50 km from Kaduna city.

Hundreds of people were killed this year in communal violence across Nigeria. Security is become a key campaign issue ahead of the February 2019 election in which Buhari will seek a second term.
“The violence in Kaduna is condemnable. Police are authorised to do everything possible to restore calm. A Special Intervention Force has been deployed to flashpoints,” Buhari said on Twitter.

Kaduna state police commissioner, Ahmad Abdur-Rahman, said clashes in Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna led to 22 arrests.
“The federal government and its law enforcement agencies will work with the state government and community leaders to ensure full restoration of peace and security,” Buhari said in another message on Twitter.

Police said the special force will carry out stop and search patrols, raid suspected criminal hideouts and make arrests in areas that have been flashpoints or considered to be at risk of violence.

Local people, who described unrest in both Christian and Muslim areas of the state capital, said troops were seen on the city’s streets.
“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna town and environs, with immediate effect. Residents are advised to comply by this directive,” Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said on Twitter.

Clashes along ethnic lines have plagued southern Kaduna in the last few years. Last year troops and additional police officers were deployed to the state in response to violence.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with around 190 million inhabitants, split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims and comprising around 250 different ethnic groups mostly living peacefully side by side.