Motion for a resolution - B7-0134/2012Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Nigeria (2012/2550(RSP))


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Fiorello Provera, Rolandas Paksas, Lorenzo Fontana, Oreste Rossi, Claudio Morganti, Mara Bizzotto, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Niki Tzavela on behalf of the EFD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0131/2012

Procedure : 2012/2550(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nigeria (2012/2550(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Nigeria and religious freedom,

–   having regard to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–   having regard to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–   having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief of 1981,

–   having regard to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and in particular the provisions on the protection of freedom of religion set out in its Chapter IV - Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,

–   having regard to the statements of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission of 26 December 2011 and 22 January 2012,

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

A. whereas at least 186 were killed on January 20 in the northern city of Kano, in a coordinated series of bomb and gun attacks by the radical Islamist group, Boko Haram, which was the most deadly attack orchestrated by the group since it began an uprising in 2009, after the killing of its founder and leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in order to topple democracy in Nigeria;

B.  whereas the Islamist group Boko Haram has warned all southern Christian and animists to leave the country’s northern states and demands the implementation of Sharia law across Nigeria and since the start of 2012, at least 200 people have died in attacks attributed to the group and in 2011, over 500 people were killed;

C. whereas on 4 March, Boko Haram announced a ‘war’ on Christians and said it would launch a series of ‘coordinated’ attacks in order to annihilate the entire Christian community living in the northern parts of the country;

D. whereas on 26 February, two suicide bombers from Boko Haram detonated explosives laden in a car outside a church in the town of Jos killing three people and wounding 38 and on 21 February, suspected Islamic extremists detonated a bomb outside a church in the city of Suleja, injuring five people;

E.  whereas the country is witnessing a surge in ethnic animosity which is fuelled by sectarian violence, which the central government of President Goodluck is struggling to control who has admitted that the unrest is worse than the country’s 1960s civil war;

F.  whereas there have been calls for reform within Nigeria’s security forces after one of the main suspects Boko Haram bombings on Christmas day, which left forty four dead, escaped from custody within 24 hours of his arrest on 14 January;

G. whereas the Nigerian government has responded to the uprising in violence by increasing security in the capital Abuja, arresting dozens of suspects, imposed curfews and a state of emergency in some parts of four northern states;

H. whereas one of the major hurdles for the Nigerian government in tackling the problem of Boko Haram is due to the lack of information on the structure, leadership and ideology of the group, making it difficult to isolate certain individuals;

I.   whereas Nigeria has a population of 160 million, split between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north;

J.   whereas the town of Jos is described as the religious fault line between the north and south;

1.  Condemns the brutal attacks on Christian communities and calls on the Government of Nigeria to take all necessary measures to tackle the problem of Islamic militancy in Northern Nigeria;

2.  Expresses the need for greater transparency and resolve within Nigeria’s security forces to track and apprehend suspects involved in sectarian attacks, as well as the need to take measures to offer protection to sites of Christian worship and community across Nigeria, in particular the north;

3.  Urges the international community to take swift action to support the basic fundamental rights and freedoms of Christian communities in Nigeria, and in countries across northern and west Africa;

4.  Emphasises the need for religious leaders in Nigeria to fight against those who incite violence and to lay down the foundations for religious tolerance and understanding;

5.  Calls on the Nigerian Federal Government to take concrete and urgent measures to support inter-ethnic and inter-faith dialogue, and welcomes the initiative by President Goodluck Jonathan to bring religious and community leaders together;

6.  Calls for the VP/HR to support the efforts of the Nigerian authorities in order to effectively tackle the problem of Islamic insurgency;

7.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate its efforts with the United States and other donors in order to earmark development aid on job creation in the areas most affected by sectarian violence;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice‑President/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the institutions of the African Union, the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations General Assembly, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).