The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has warned that ongoing violence between Christians and Muslims in central Nigeria exposes the country's "failure to effectively deal" with the unrest.

The independent, bipartisan governmental commission issued the warning Monday from Washington. The commission said its own documentation shows that Nigeria prosecutes "only 1 percent" of those responsible for such killings in the region, which only "intensifies local tensions and mistrust."

The attacks center around the volatile city of Jos, where thousands have been killed since Nigeria became a democracy in 1999. Religion, politics, grazing rights and economic power all play a role in the violence in Nigeria's fertile central belt region.