*Nigeria – Africa’s most populous and potentially richest nation – succumbed to a new round of Christian-Muslim violence last week.

The fighting took place in the central city of Jos and reportedly left 65 Christians and 200 Muslims dead. In addition, thousands were driven from their homes.

But by late week, authorities were saying that most of the violence had ended and that a 24-hour curfew had been relaxed allowing the dead to be buried and the displaced to return to their homes.

With an estimate 160 million people and tremendous oil wealth, the West African nation is a potential economic powerhouse. But its development has been retarded by consistent tribal and religious violence as well as by massive government corruption and a near-civil war in the oil-rich Niger Delta region

Christian-Muslim clashes have struck the nation on several ocassions with the most destructive battles taking place in 2001, 2004 and 2008. In fact, last week’s violence resulted in major part from disputes over the rebuilding of homes destroyed in the 2008 fighting. In addition, the latest fighting takes place as the country’s strong-man President Yar’Adua is in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for an unknown medical condition. (source: Taylor Media Services)