Christmas Day bomb attacks against churches in Nigeria by Islamist militant
group Boko Haram
targeted the country's religious and ethnic faultlines . . .
The Christmas church bombings included one in the central city of Jos, a
religious and ethnic flashpoint region lying in the heart of the divide
between the mercantile, largely Muslim pastoralist peoples of the north and
the traditionally farming, largely Christian peoples of the south.
Nigeria's 160 million people are split roughly evenly between Christians and
Muslims, who for the most part live side by side in peace, but their
cohabitation in the "Middle Belt" has sometimes been a source of tensions
over land and influence. . . .
The latest attacks will fuel the fears of Nigerian and Western security
experts who increasingly link Boko Haram to a wider violent militant Islamic
jihadist threat from North Africa across the Sahara. . . .
But experts warn that tackling Boko Haram as a security problem alone will
not address the underlying social, economic and political problems that
underpin the group and its domestic support, and that a heavy-handed police
and army response could simply exacerbate the threat being incubated in
Nigeria's north. . . .
"Liberia, Libya, the U.S., and
Nigeria's Oil," The Wisdom Fund, July 25, 2003
Anne Penketh, "Nigerian
Christians Accused of 'Genocide'," Independent, May 7, 2004
"Nigeria Violence: Muslim Herders vs
Christian Farmers," The Wisdom Fund, March 8, 2010
"The New Scramble For Africa: The Crown
Jewels," The Wisdom Fund, October 20, 2011