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Nigeria

'Christians Must All Convert'- Jihadist Group Claims Responsibility For Nigeria Bombings

Worldcrunch

OSUN DEFENDER, GUARDIAN, VANGUARD(Nigeria)

KADUNA – A tense curfew was holding Monday across Nigeria after one of the worst days of violence between Muslims and Christians in memory as the nation continues to add new scars from sectarian violence.

Boko Haram, a Jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility Monday for the bombings, the latest in a series against churches in northern Nigeria, specifically targeting women and children. The radical Islamist group seeks to establish sharia law in Nigeria. In a statement published by the Osun Defender after the attacks, Boko Haram claimed "Christians must all convert to Islam in order to have peace."

For former Minister of Defense, Adetokunbo Kayode, Boko Haram has "no doubt overwhelmed the country's security apparatus." He added that Nigeria was not used to terrorism and that it would take time for the government to address the situation.

"It was another dark Sunday yesterday as rage, blood-letting from suicide bombing and reprisal attacks in Kaduna and Zaria brought the two cities to their knees," writes the Nigerian daily The Guardian.

The first attack was at a children's Christian Sunday school in Zaria, reports the Vanguard, where 10 students and their teacher were killed. According to eyewitness accounts, five men "ran up to the church and hurled home-made bombs through its open doors."

Later, at Christ the King Cathedral in Zaria, 11 worshippers were killed by a suicide bomber, and scores more injured. The third attack occurred in Shalom Church in Kaduna, where five people were also killed by a suicide bomber.

Soon after the bombings, groups of Christian youths went on a rampage, torching mosques, cars and Muslim homes, and killing many people. "Sporadic gunshots rent the air in the areas as residents were holed up in their homes. Armored tanks and military patrol vehicles were immediately deployed in the streets to beef up security," reports the Guardian.

The state government was quick to stem the violence by imposing a 24-hour curfew. All together, more than 50 people were killed on Sunday. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, called for calm, saying that attacking innocent people, who have nothing to do with the suicide attacks, served only to worsen an already complicated situation.

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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