Violence between Christians and Muslims in Jos, on or about 20 September 2001; response by authorities, arrests and detentions, outcome of cases against those arrested, and if persons involved are still being pursued [NGA39451.E]

Although no reports of violence in Jos on 20 September 2001 could be found among sources consulted by the Research Directorate, there are reports on violence between Christians and Muslims during the preceding week (AFP 8-16 Sept. 2001; AI 2002; MCC 7 Mar. 2001; This Day, 19 Sept. 2001). A comprehensive report by Human Rights Watch, entitled Jos: A City Torn Apart, details the violence between Christians and Muslims from 7 to 13 September 2001, including the extent of the violence, the response by authorities, and arrests and detentions. This report can be consulted in Regional Documentation Centres and on line at

The researcher of the Human Rights Watch report indicated in a telephone interview that she was not aware of the outcome of cases against those arrested, and if persons involved are still being pursued (30 July 2002).

According to Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001, "Prolonged pre-trial detention remains a major problem [and] the judicial system often was incapable of providing criminal suspects with speedy and fair trials. Prison conditions in Nigeria are harsh and life threatening, and along with the lack of food and medical treatment, contributed to the death of numerous inmates" (Country Reports 2001, 2002).

Two government commissions were established in late 2001 to address the broader phenomenon of inter-communal violence in Nigeria: a national commission on security and a judicial commission of inquiry into the inter-communal conflicts in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states (HRW Dec. 2001, 22, 23). No reference to the release of any commission reports could be found among sources consulted.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP) [Paris, in English]. 8 September 2001. "Nigeria: Some 100 Vehicles, Five Churches, One Mosque said Burned in Clashes." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0908/WNC)

_____. 8 September 2001. "Nigeria: Spokesman Says Christian-Muslim Clashes Continue in Jos." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0908/WNC)

_____. 9 September 2001. "Nigeria: Troops Struggle to Maintain Order in Jos; Christian Youths Defy Curfew." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0909/WNC)

_____. 9 September 2001. "Nigeria: Authorities in Jos Extend Curfew by Three Hours." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0909/WNC)

_____. 10 September 2001. "Nigeria: Red Cross Says More Than 165 Dead, 928 Injured in Jos riots." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0910/WNC)

_____. 12 September 2001. "Nigeria: AFP Reports Renewed Christian, Muslim Clashes in Jos, Churches Attacked." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0912/WNC)

_____. 13 September 2001. "Nigeria: Ethnic Clashes Resume in Jos, Army Said Misbehaving." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0913/WNC)

_____. 16 September 2001. "Nigeria: Police Detain 300 Over Unrest in Jos." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0916/WNC)

Amnesty International (AI). 2002. Annual Report 2002. London: Amnesty International.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 25 July 2002]

Human Rights Watch (HRW). December 2001. Jos: A City Torn Apart. [Accessed 24 July 2002]

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). 7 November 2001. "Press Release." [Accessed 24 July 2002]

Human Rights Watch - Africa Division. London, England. 30 July 2002 telephone interview with researcher.

This Day [Lagos]. 19 September 2001. "Mayhem in Jos." [Accessed 25 July 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases


Internet sites including:

Africa Online

Amnesty International (AI)

BBC Africa

Guardian Unlimited

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)

Newswatch Nigeria

U.S. State Department


World News Connection (WNC)

Search engines including: