The twin bombings in Jos on May 20 have been very sad news. They took place at the main market and local bus terminal, one of the busiest places in town. They killed many market women and their children as well as firefighters and ambulance men who rushed to the scene to help the wounded. I have passed through this overcrowded area many times during my field research in Jos. The only thing that is comforting after these vicious attacks is that no revenge killings have been reported. Security forces reacted swiftly when angry people started to set up roadblocks, which could have let to killings. But I think the relative calm in Jos is also in no small part testimony to the tireless efforts of many local peace activists who have been working for years to bring down the tensions and avert another major riot. Some of these individuals are truly brave people who risk much when confronting armed and angry men in a traumatized environment.
My report on the conflict in Jos details some of the local violence prevention initiatives and the root causes of the conflict.