Nigeria rights body wants UN probe of Jos massacres

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A Nigerian rights body Thursday urged the United Nations to probe a massacre in Jos as a new local police chief vowed to crackdown on incessant sectarian violence in the central region.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to set up an international inquiry into "possible crimes against humanity...against innocent Nigerians, mostly children and women, some of them pregnant."
Hundreds of people have been slaughtered in Christian farming villages around the central city of Jos in the past 10 days. Three months ago, over 300 mainly Muslim residents of the Jos region were killed in sectarian clashes.
SERAP accused government of lethargy in punishing culprits.
"The government has shown itself to be unwilling or unable to address the situation, and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice," it said.
"It is now time for the international community to establish a commission of inquiry into the numerous targetted and systematic human rights violations that continue to be committed in Jos with absolute impunity."
A new police chief for the central region meantime vowed to crackdown on the incessant sectarian violence a day after a dozen people were slaughtered in a Christian village outside Jos city.
"We will provide more logistics, troops and helicopters to Plateau State for effective policing and maintainance of law and order. We will intensify community policing," said Donald Iroham.
He was appointed this week to replace a retired predecessor.
"My deployment to Jos is to join hands with police officers on ground to restore peace in the state," he told reporters.
SERAP said the culture of impunity for crimes committed in Jos has fuelled further killings while undermining the rule of law and endangering the fragile democratic dispensation in the country.
"We will not hesitate to prosecute anybody found to have a hand in the crisis," said Iroham.

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