- The UN Chief, Ban Ki- Moon has called for maximum restraint after inter-religious violence in the central Nigerian city of Jos left over 400 people dead since the fighting began on Sunday.
He said despite religious differences, Nigerians should strive for a lasting solution to the crisis facing the Plateau state, further calling for concerted efforts on all political and religious leaders in Nigeria to work together to address the underlying causes of the recurring sectarian violence.
Mr Ban took note of the Government’s expressed determination to find a permanent solution to the crisis in Jos, and urged that every effort be undertaken to restore stability and avoid further deterioration of the situation, the statement added.
Deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians in Jos in November 2008 killed several hundred people and displaced thousands of others. In addition, at least 100 people were reportedly killed in northern Nigeria last July during clashes which pitted local Muslims against police forces.
Meanwhile, the Christian and Muslim clashes have reportedly spread to other parts of the of the country, leaving women and children vulnerable.
The violence broke out on Sunday morning between rival Christian and Muslim gangs, setting fire to mosques, churches and other buildings. Sunday's clashes reportedly erupted after Christian youths protested against the building of a mosque in the Christian-dominated Nassarawa Gwom district of the city.
More than 200 ethnic groups generally live peacefully side by side in the West African country, although civil war left one million people dead between 1967 and 1970 and there have been bouts of religious unrest since then.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with about 150-million people, is evenly divided between the mainly Muslim north and mainly Christian south.
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