MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Nigeria
12.4.2016 - (2016/2649(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure
Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Piernicola Pedicini, Laura Ferrara, Laura Agea, Isabella Adinolfi, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0478/2016
European Parliament resolution on Nigeria
The European Parliament,
-Having regard to its previous resolutions on Nigeria, in particular to those of 30 April 2015, and of 8 October 2015;
-having regard to the statements by the EEAS Spokesperson of 11 February 2016, 31 January 2016, 16 December 2015 15 November on attacks in different areas of Nigeria (Yola, Eastern Nigeria, Northeastern (City of Maiduguri) North, (City of Zaria)
-having regard to the Amnesty International report "Nigeria: Still waiting for justice, still waiting for change. Government must prioritise accountability in the north-east"
-Having regard to the Human Rights Watch report of January 2016 on Nigeria;
-having regard to the Cotonou Agreement
-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
-having regard to the UN Declaration of 1981 on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,
-having regard to the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples of 1981, ratified by Nigeria on 22 June 1983,
-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil Rights of 1966, ratified by Nigeria on 29 October 1993,
-having regard to the African Union Convention on the prevention and fight against terrorism, ratified by Nigeria on 16 May 2003, and the Additional Protocol, ratified by Nigeria on 22 December 2008,
-having regard to the statements by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the possibility that members of Boko Haram could be accused of war crimes;
-having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
Terrorist attacks and Government reaction
A.Whereas last 15 November 2015, few days after the attacks in France, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt, an attack on a market in Yola, capital of North Eastern Adamawa State has killed over 30 people and wounded many more;
B.whereas on 16 December 2015 Nigeria was once again the target of violence as clashes in the northern city of Zaria left more than 60 victims and many wounded.
C.whereas on 31 January 2016 another attack near the North-Eastern town of Maiduguri in Nigeria has left more than fifty people killed.
D.whereas on 11 February 2016 Only 10 days after the violence perpetrated in north eastern Nigeria and southern Chad, a new terrorist attack involving two suicide women has struck a Nigerian camp hosting some 50,000 people, killing at least 58.
E.whereas on 16 March two suicide women killed themselves and at least 22 worshippers in an attack on a mosque in Umarari on the outskirts of the city that is now the command centre of the Nigerian military's war against Boko Haram;
F.whereas on 25 March 2016 Nigerian troops have freed more than 800 people held by Boko Haram Islamist fighters in multiple villages in the country’s restive north-east, after a confrontation with Boko Haram fighters, and whereas on the same day Boko Haram abducted 16 women, including two girls, in neighbouring Adamawa state.
G.whereas figures released by Human Rights watch estimates that Boko Haram attacks led to more than 10000 civilian deaths, the abduction of at least 2.000 people, mostly women and children and large groups of students, forced recruitment of hundreds of men, and the displacement of 2 million people in northeast Nigeria; whereas other figures report a death toll of 22.000 since 2009;
H.whereas Human Rights Watch last January 2016 reported about Nigeria pointing out that the responses of security forces to civil disturbances and protests in the southeast and northcentral Nigeria is very violent too and is threatens to aggravate human rights challenges caused by the lingering Boko Haram conflict in the northeast
I.whereas Amnesty International and other organisations have found extensive evidence of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity also by the Nigerian military and affirms that Nigerian authorities detain suspects without access to their relatives or lawyers, without charge and without being brought before a judge for prolonged periods in incommunicado pre-trial detention, sometimes for more than two years.
J.whereas the EU has confirmed its contribution of 50 million euro to assist countries of the region to fight terrorism;
K.Whereas President Buhari has promised to initiate investigations into this matters and whereas these investigations are necessary to bring justice to the victims of these violations and their relatives, to change the behaviour of troops in order to end violations and to end impunity that encourages and facilitates future violations.
L.whereas a proposal of legislation "to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith" is currently before the Nigerian Senate aimed at punishing the dissemination of “abusive statements” via social media, or the publication of discrediting petition against the government or others via print or electronic media.
Natural resources and poverty
M.whereas Nigeria is the most populated and most ethnically diverse country in Africa and whereas over 60% of its population is less than 24 years old;
N.whereas Nigeria is the 23rd biggest economy in the world and the first one in Africa and is endowed with abundant natural resources while at the same time unemployment amongst under-25s is estimated at more than 75 percent; whereas, despite low oil prices, government revenues are still largely derived from sales of hydrocarbons; whereas the EU is one of the largest trading partners of Nigeria;
O.whereas according to the World Bank, Nigeria has lost about USD 400 billion in oil revenue as a result of corruption since 1960 and a further USD 20 billion in oil money has disappeared from Nigeria’s treasury in the past two years;
P.whereas Nigeria is characterized by social and economic inequality with around 60% of the population living in absolute poverty, yet at the same time, Nigeria has nearly 16 000 millionaires; whereas the country is characterized by economic and social imbalances between the North and the South;
Q.whereas Nigeria is richly endowed with diverse flora and fauna but these vital resources are presently threatened by increased population pressure, intensified human development activities and unsustainable utilization of biodiversity;
R.whereas the Niger Delta is home to 20 million people and 40 different ethnic groups and is one of the area of the planet with the most biodiversity; whereas an UNEP (United nation Environment Program) report concluded that communities in the area are exposed to petroleum hydrocarbons in outdoor air and drinking water and that public safety issue exists; whereas the remediation management system adopted by companies still do not meet local regulatory requirements or international best practices; whereas Nigerian’s government agencies lack qualified technical expertise and resources to contrast the phenomenon; whereas the study concludes that the environmental restoration of the region is possible but may take 25 to 30 years;
1.Strongly condemns the attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram and the increasing use of women and young children as suicide bombers in Nigeria and bordering countries, the selling of girls as sex slaves, the use of sexual violence as a torture tool as heinous crimes which may amount to crimes against humanity;
2.expresses its solidarity to the families of the thousands of victims;
3.rejects any violent form of retaliation perpetrated by the Nigerian military and calls for the end of the escalation of violence and to stop all the serious breaches of humanitarian law and the widespread violations of human rights;
4.welcomes the substantial humanitarian aid provided by the European Union in support of the affected population, recalling the need to cooperate in countering terrorism and violent extremism at the same time without sacrificing human rights and the rule of law;
5.calls on the EU to check that all public funds and specifically those donated to ensure stability and fight terrorism do not jeopardize respect for human rights;
6.invites President Buhari to keep his promises to launch thorough impartial investigations on all possible crimes against humanity recalling the need to ensure accountability, the right to a fair trial, the respect of the rights of the defense, the freedom of press and freedom of expression;
7.condemns any attempt to control media or to rule punish opposition leaders, journalists or other activists for expressing critical opinions toward the Government.
8.Calls on all stakeholders ahead to the Abuja Security Summit of May 2016 to identify concrete viable solutions to fight terrorism without sacrificing the respect of Human rights and democracy principles;
9.Reminds that the mandate of the Multinational Joint Task force established in January 2015 is ‘prevent the expansion of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups’ activities and eliminate their presence’ in full compliance of international law and of relevant U.N. resolutions;
10.Invites President Muhammadu Buhari to fight widespread corruption, restore broken institutions, to address corruption, inefficiency and disorganisation of the army, to effectively tackle the socio-economic crisis and the severe inequalities between the south and the north of the country and to put in place ambitious and inclusive socio-economic policies geared towards higher level of economic and social development.
11.calls on EU and Nigeria to work together, under art. 8 (political dialogue) and 13 (migration) of the Cotonou agreement to tackle irregular migration, including return and readmissions, and to better take advantage of the opportunities provided by regular migration.
12.Encourages Nigerian authorities to redistribute incomes coming from the vast resources of the country for the wellness of its population, pointing out that special efforts on reducing inequality and develop the northern part of the country would represent a valid mean to contrast Boko Haram’s strategy of recruiting people who live in poverty and at the edge of society and especially youngsters who lack access to school and employment;
13.Reminds that two years passed since the abduction of 276 girls at a school outside Chibok and that according to press sources some of them could have been used as suicide bombers; asks the government and the international community to make everything in their power to find the abductees and free them;
14.Asks to Nigeria’s religious authorities and leaders to actively cooperate with civil society and public authorities in order to contrast extremism and radicalization;
15. Asks the Nigerian authorities to take emergency measures in the Niger Delta including actions to end illegal oil-related activities, and to provide adequate sources of unpolluted drinking water, to mount a public awareness campaign to inform people of what may damage their health, and to provide a comprehensive medical examination to those who have been exposed to the pollution; asks the European Union and the Member States to provide technical expertise and resources to restore the area;
16.Calls on EU Member States to punish those phenomena of international corruption that see European companies exploiting Nigerian resources at detriment of the environment and of the local communities and, in case they fins individuals or companies guilty of damaging the environment, ensure them to the Justice and offer compensation in favour of damaged parties;
17.Asks Nigerian authorities to keep working to protect biodiversity in the country and to constantly monitor the respect of the international conventions and protocols signed including the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992;
18.Instructs its Co-Presidents to forward this resolution to the EU Council of ACP Ministers, the European Commission, the EEAS High Representative/Vice President of the EU Commission, the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the government and parliament of Nigeria, the Representatives of ECOWAS and the African Union.