Christians and Muslims sign treaty to end violence in Nigeria

By on October 1, 2002

London

The first treaty between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria?s history was signed this summer in the northern province of Kaduna. About 2,000 religious leaders, including those from the old tribal kingdoms, were at the signing.

The Kaduna Declaration follows 18 months? conflict-resolution work, carried out at the state governor?s request by the International Centre for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral, under its director, Canon Andrew White.

Both Mr. White and Bishop of Coventry Colin Bennetts, were in Kaduna at the height of the violence two years ago, when hundreds of Christians and Muslims were killed in two days of rioting over the introduction of shariah or religious law.

The treaty, which will be implemented over the next three years, is based on the Alexandria Declaration of Religious Leaders for Peace in the Holy Land.

Mr. White commented: ?The work of all those people in Palestine has borne more fruit in Africa than in the Middle East.

?We really hope it will have a major effect, and that it has given a pattern to be developed elsewhere. We?ll keep people on the ground in Kaduna, and think seriously about taking on other states.?

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