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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Nigeria

2.7.2013 - (2013/2691(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0344/2013

Eljárás : 2013/2691(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nigeria


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Nigeria, including that of 12 March 2012;


- having regard to the previous statements by HR/VP Catherine Ashton on Nigeria, including those of 2 and 25 June 2013;


- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;


- having regard to the EU annual report on human rights;


- having regard to the statement of the UN Secretary General of 16 May 2013;


- having regard to a statement from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of 17 May 2013;


- having regard to the Human Rights Watch Report 2013;


- having regard to the G8 Foreign Ministers statement of 12 April 2012;


- having regard to the OHCHR report of 2012;


- having regard to the statement by the UN Security Council of 27 December 2011 on attacks in Nigeria;


- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, ratified by Nigeria on 29 October 1993;


- 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 its provisions on the protection of freedom of religion in its Chapter IV – Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion


- having regard to the Amnesty International report Making Love a Crime: Criminalisation of same-sex conduct in sub-Saharan Africa of 25 June 2013;


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


A. Whereas being the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa Nigeria's stability is crucial for the West Africa region;


B. Whereas it is appalled by the continuing wave of gun and bomb attacks, suicide bombings, and other violent acts committed by the terrorist sect Boko Haram on civilian, government and military targets in Nigeria;


C. Whereas it is increasingly concerned at Boko Haram's decision to kidnap women and children as part of its bloody guerrilla campaign; whereas foreign workers in Nigeria have also been kidnapped, attacked and killed by insurgents;


D. Whereas since the Boko Haram uprising began Nigeria now faces its most precarious situation since the country's civil war which ended in 1970;


E. Whereas the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has warned that Boko Haram’s attacks may constitute crimes against humanity; whereas those views were echoed by the International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who says there is a reasonable basis to believe Boko Haram has committed acts constituting crimes against humanity;


F. Whereas fierce fighting between government forces and insurgents has led to a significant number of innocent civilian casualties and threatens to cost the lives of many more;


G. Whereas with a population of about 160 million and 60 per cent resident in the northern half of the country, none of Nigeria's neighbours have the capacity to absorb the numbers of people that could be displaced in the event of a full-scale humanitarian disaster following mass violence; whereas many thousands in northern Nigeria have already been displaced because of the violence;


H.. Whereas there is a growing perception that the Nigerian government is losing the capacity to safeguard the lives and property of its citizens;


I. Whereas there is a high threat from terrorism in Nigeria, and of retaliatory attacks following the declared state of emergency and subsequent military operations; whereas there is also a threat of retaliatory attacks due to Nigeria's participation in the intervention in Mali;


J. Whereas on 14 May 2013 the Nigerian Government declared a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States;


K. Whereas demonstrations and civil unrest can occur at short notice;


L. Whereas lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continue to face human rights abuses and restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including via legislation introduced by the Nigerian government itself;


M. Whereas freedom of expression and freedom of the press are jeopardised by threats of arrest, intimidation, violence, and even death;


N. Whereas Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has made little progress in combating government corruption;


1. Strongly condemns the escalating violence throughout Nigeria and expresses its grave concerns at the implications for the stability of the wider region and the global fight against terrorism;


2. Urges the Nigerian government and its forces to exercise restraint in tackling insurgent violence and that any efforts to tackle such violence are carried out according to the Nigerian government's obligations under international law;


3. Notes the serious concerns raised by the US State Department about Nigerian security force abuses in combating the Boko Haram violence;


4. Notes with concern reports that Nigerian government forces have burnt homes and executed Boko Haram suspects or residents with no apparent links to the group; demands that any Government security forces implicated in human rights abuses in response to the violence are brought to justice;


5. Is similarly concerned at allegations Nigeria's police force continues to be implicated in human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and extortion-related abuses;


6. Expresses concern at the growth in human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling, in the region, their links to Islamist terrorism and further notes the connections between the Boko Haram, AQIM and Al Shabab militant groups in this illegal activity; calls on the Nigerian government, working with other governments and international agencies, to eradicate this trade in their wider efforts to combat the spread of international terrorism and the sources which fund it;


7. Calls on all actors to seek to achieve peaceful, diplomatic solutions and bring about an end to inter-communal, political and religious violence;


8. Expresses serious concerns about terror campaigns conducted against Christians, moderate Muslims, and other religious groups;


9. Expresses growing concern at the prospect that many thousands of innocent Nigerians face being displaced from their homes and communities in order to escape the violence; calls on United Nations' agencies, governments, and other organisations to support those countries already affected by an influx of people fleeing the violence in Nigeria;


10. Expresses concern at the recent executions of four prisoners in southern Nigeria, the first such executions for several years;


11. Condemns the homophobic laws introduced by the Nigerian government which attack the fundamental freedoms and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people;


12. Calls on the Nigerian government to give LGBT people equal rights by decriminalising homosexual acts; calls on the Nigerian government to refrain from introducing any future legislation which would similarly impact on the human rights of LGBT people; calls on the Nigerian government to prosecute any individuals or groups who commit acts of violence, or mental or physical abuse, against LGBT people;


13. Notes that the Nigerian government's weapons amnesty programme of 2009 reduced attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta but expresses concern that despite these efforts the Nigerian government has still not addressed the underlying causes of violence and discontent in the region, including poverty, government corruption, environmental degradation from oil spills, and impunity from politically sponsored violence;


14. Voices concern that journalists face arrest, violence, intimidation and even death if reporting on issues criticising the Nigerian political and economic leadership;


15. Urges the Nigerian government to recognise Nigeria's role as a regional power and the responsibilities it must fulfil in that regard;


16. Calls on international donors, including governments and NGOs, to ensure rigorous accountability mechanisms are in place to combat money laundering, corruption, and fraud resulting from foreign aid to Nigeria;


17. Notes with concern the growing threat of piracy off the Gulf of Guinea;


18. Urges Member States to undertake measures in Nigeria combining diplomacy with long-term development objectives in order to achieve peace, security, good governance and respect for human rights;


19. Notes with concern that widespread lead poisoning from artisanal gold mining in Zamfara State has killed at least 400 children since 2010; calls on the Nigerian government and mining companies to take urgent action to introduce safer mining practices which could reduce the rate of lead poisoning;


20. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the federal Government of Nigeria, the institutions of the African Union, the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN General Assembly, the co-presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and the PAN-African Parliament.