Killings: Group laments plight of Plateau IDPs

A group, Justice and Peace Advocates Initiative, led by Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, on Sunday, expressed concern over the condition of internally displaced persons camped in schools and other open places in Plateau State.

The PUNCH reports that in the past three months, no fewer than 300 persons had been killed in different Plateau communities in several attacks carried out by gunmen.

During such attacks, the gunmen also set several houses on fire, forcing the surviving victims to flee their homes and leaving many communities deserted.

Speaking with journalists on Sunday after he led a delegation of Gideon and Para-Mallam Peace Foundation to Mangu LGA where over 18,000 displaced persons were taking refuge in a primary school, Para-Mallam described their situation as pathetic.

He called on the government to redouble its efforts to end the killings to enable the people to return to their ancestral villages

He said, “The humanitarian disaster that has befallen the people of Mangu has been catastrophic, disturbing.

“The visit is to identify with the victims and support them in a little way to cushion the effects of the tragedy and devastation of their properties by the attackers.

“We can see the vast number of IDPs; over 18000 of them here(Mangu primary school) comprising children, women, orphans, widows, husbands, widowers. You can imagine that less than two years old baby whose mother and father were killed. I was moved to tears but I have to control myself.

“The government needs to stop the impunity of people coming to kill people and walk away. It’s unacceptable. I think the government needs to sit up and say enough is enough.

The organisation which on arrival paid homage to the paramount ruler of Mangu commiserated with him and his subjects over the great losses they experienced following the attacks on their communities.

He added “The people themselves have appealed to the government that they would want to be returned to their villages. They actually mentioned three places that they believe the attackers appear to be coming from within the LGA. It is important that the people have identified these places for the government to take note of them at the state and the national level.

“And as a peace foundation, we have an initiative that is called touching lives for peace initiative. We say it is time for peace in Mangu land. We are also walking the talk of peace by bringing massive humanitarian supplies to support and to encourage and make a strong appeal to them not to retaliate but to work for peace believing that government will live up to its expectation”

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