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Nigeria hit by post-election violence

What's behind the rioting between Nigeria's Christians and Muslims in the North?

Iorapuu notes the growing divisions in the city: Christians will no longer buy from Muslim shopkeepers, and vice versa. Mosques and churches now screen people with metal detectors before entry.

“Despite all that is happening, I still see hope,” he said. “People are tired of the violence. People are tired of running scared.”

One bright spot is Dadin Kowa, a neighborhood in Jos where Muslims and Christians live side by side under the leadership of imams and pastors who work closely together to try to ensure peace.

Darlington Chime, 30, who owns a small pharmacy in Dadin Kowa, is a member of a youth group that monitors the area for the early signs of violence, sometimes sparked by false rumors or outsiders coming into the community to stir up trouble. At night, the group sets up makeshift posts in the street, staying awake in shifts to guard their neighborhood.

Chime said that the group is on high alert for potential violence during election time, and will call local elders at any hint of trouble.

“When the rumor comes that there may be an attack, we keep watch all night,” he said.

However, Dadin Kowa is only one small area of about 5,000 people in a city with a population of about 1 million.

Habiba Mohammed, 23, a student who is also a member of the youth group, says young people are too often involved in the violence in Jos, and are sometimes paid to cause trouble. She hopes that Dadin Kowa can set an example of Christian and Muslim youths coming together to show mutual tolerance and respect.

Mohammed concluded: “At the end of the day, does violence cause any joy or happiness? No.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/nigeria/110419/nigeria-election-violence