Unabated Violence in Mangu, Plateau State Despite Curfew

This image grab made from an AFPTV video taken in Maiyanga village, in Bokkos local government, on December 27, 2023 shows families burying in a mass grave their relatives killed in deadly attacks conducted by armed groups in Nigeria's central Plateau State. - The death toll from a series of attacks on villages in central Nigeria has climbed to almost 200, local authorities said on December 27, 2023, as survivors began to bury the dead. Armed groups launched attacks between December 23, 2023 and December 26, 2023 in Nigeria's Plateau State, a region plagued for several years by religious and ethnic tensions. (Photo by Kim Masara / AFPTV / AFP)

In Mangu town, located in the Mangu local government area of Plateau state, a distressing wave of violence persists despite the imposition of a 24-hour curfew by Governor Caleb Mutfwang. The curfew, enacted in response to fresh killings recorded in the area, has seemingly failed to curb the relentless attacks and arson.

According to reports, unidentified gunmen stormed several communities within Mangu, engaging in indiscriminate shooting and setting ablaze numerous houses, including the Sunnah Islamiya School situated along Gindiri Road. The intensity of these attacks has overwhelmed the local security forces, leaving residents in a state of fear and vulnerability.

Suleiman Muhammad, a Mangu resident, provided a harrowing account of the situation: “At around 9:30 am this morning, gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons came and started shooting sporadically. They burnt a lot of houses, including the Sunnah Islamiya school. Some persons were killed. They have overwhelmed the security personnel currently in Mangu. We are completely surrounded by the gunmen.”

The assailants have also targeted religious structures, with mosques and houses in Anguwan Femawa, Anguwan Hayi, Anguwan Kuwata, and Anguwan Maijirgi – all in ward 2 of Mangu – being razed. The area, already strained by previous episodes of violence, now faces an escalation that the existing security measures have been unable to contain.

As of now, Captain Oya James, the spokesperson for Operation Safe Haven which is tasked with maintaining peace in the area, has not responded to inquiries regarding these developments.

This ongoing crisis in Mangu reflects a broader challenge of maintaining security and order in regions plagued by such violent episodes. The state government’s efforts, including the stringent curfew, have yet to yield the desired peace and safety for the residents of Mangu. As the community grapples with this turmoil, the call for effective intervention and a sustainable solution to the security issues becomes increasingly urgent.

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