Motion for a resolution - B7-0254/2010Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on mass atrocities in Jos, Nigeria, in January and March


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Mara Bizzotto, Fiorello Provera on behalf of the EFD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0247/2010

Procedure : 2010/2660(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on mass atrocities in Jos, Nigeria, in January and March

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation of human rights in Nigeria,

–   having regard to the EU Presidency statement of 2 December 2008 on the interreligious violence occurred in the State of Plateau,

–   having regard to the joint statement of 28 January 2010, issued by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on the massive violence in Jos,

–   having regard to the statements issued by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 12 February and 1st March 2010 on the situation of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria,

–   having regard to the UE Presidency Declaration of 31 July 2009 on the mass violence on Northern Nigeria,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to all of which Nigeria has adhered,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas in January 2010, because of the debated construction of a mosque, interethnic and interreligious clashes between Muslims and Christians in the city of Jos, capital of the State of Plateau (Central Nigeria), caused the death of 500 people and the injuring of 1000 others,

B.  whereas on March 7 2010, groups of Muslim shepherds attacked the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Ratsat and Zot (near Jos), where mostly Christians live, giving rise to other mass violence which resulted in hundreds of dead (women and children as well) and maimed,

C. whereas on April 24, two journalist of a Christian review were killed in the suburbs of Jos, in an area of the city which is mainly populated by Muslims; they were assaulted while a Muslims revolt caused by the death of a young Muslim was taking place in Jos,

D. whereas serious mass interethnic violence and clashes between Muslim and Christian groups have taken place for almost ten years in many Nigerian cities and villages, mostly in the States of Plateau and Kaduna; violence in 2000 resulting in thousands of dead during serious clashes caused by the most debated application of the Sharia laws in the State of Kaduna; clashes in 2001 in Jos resulting in 1000 of dead, and churches and mosques being burnt; other tragic mass violence occurring in November 2002 (more than 200 killed in Kaduna), may 2004 (hundreds killed in Yelma, Central Nigeria and 500-600 dead in Kano, Northern Nigeria), November 2008 (700 dead in Jos), July 2009 (700 killed in Islamic States of Northern Nigeria), December 2009 (70 dead),

E.  whereas the religious aspects of the long lasting clash between Muslims and Christians is the most evident outcome of ethnical, social and economical conflicts, worsening the general situation of many millions of Nigerian people and having already caused an exponential increase of violence,

F.  whereas -while in the past decades the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities, even though difficult and anything but friendly, never resulted in serious mass violence – the situation of ethnical and religious relations between different groups in Nigeria (in particular in the State of Plateau as well as in ones of the North) has been getting worse in the last decade because of the penetration in Nigeria by radical Islamism inspired to Al-Qaida and the adoption, by Northern States (12 out of 36 in total), of the Sharia laws as State law,

G. whereas the general human rights situation in Nigeria has continued to deteriorate, in particular in the Muslim States of the North Nigeria, where the Court of Magajin Gari (Kaduna) has recently forbidden a human rights NGO (“Civil Rights Congress”) to open a public debate on the form of punishment provided by the Sharia laws,

H. whereas the political and geopolitical relevance of Nigeria, a Country with enormous natural resources and a population of 150 millions of people, need to find internal social and ethnic stability, or it would run the risk of producing threats to the international peace and security,

I.   whereas in November 2009 Nigeria signed a UE Development Fund agreement, whose aim is to support governance, trade and peace actions in Nigeria; the agreement amounting to 677 millions of euros and providing that a large amount of funding is finalized to empower the internal governance and to guarantee peace and respect of human rights,

J.   whereas, according to any observer, the worsening of interreligious struggle hides economic and social conflicts, whose solution is made impossible by the Nigerian political unstableness, and since the absence of Nigerian President, due to his illness, and the consequent lack of power at the top of the Federal State thwart a full reply by the authorities to the rising clash between Muslims and Christians and the aggressiveness that Islamic fundamentalism has gradually acquired,

1.  Condemns the violence between Muslim and Christian communities, being expression of ethnical, economical and religious conflicts that deeply distress Nigerian people, in particular those of the Central and Northern States;

2.  Expresses serious concern at the fact that the violence has been going on for almost ten years, as well as the worsening of the clashes between ethnical and religious communities because of the growing aggressiveness of some militant groups inspired to Islamic fundamentalism of Al-Qaida;

3.  Recalls that, even though recognizing the ethnical and social nature of the deep causes of the clashes, the frequent and brutal violence between Muslims and Christians has assumed the form of interreligious conflicts;

4.  Points out that the freedom of thought, conscience and religion are fundamental and undeniable rights which must be guaranteed in every circumstance, in accordance with Article 18 of the ICCPR, whose Nigeria is party;

5.  Expresses concern at the fact that many States of Northern Nigeria keep on applying Sharia as State law, which result in frequent violations of fundamental rights such as torture, death penalty and mutilation as judicial punishment, and causing further growing and worsening of religious conflicts;

6.  Urges the Nigerian authorities of the Northern States to eliminate, both in law and in practice, all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments or punishments, according to International Convention against the torture which Nigeria has signed and ratified;

7.  Deplores the limitation to the free activity of NGO that in particular in Northern Nigeria, are hampered to promote free and democratic debate about the cruelty of Sharia laws and Muslim management of judicial system;

8.  Expresses concern about the unstableness of Nigerian political system, due to the absence of political leadership and exhorts the UE to act in any way to cooperate with international community in order to resolve as soon as possible the Nigerian institutional crisis by which the solution of ethnical and religious struggle too is hampered;

9.  Recommends that a Special Envoy be dispatched by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor the situation of political unstableness and social, interethnic and interreligious conflicts,

10. Urges the UE to monitor that funding to Nigerian government coming from the EU Development Fund agreement that Nigeria has recently signed is used to promote governance and guarantee the respect of human fundamental rights and rule of law;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council and the Government and the National Assembly of the Nigerian Federal Republic.