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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the displacement of children in Northern Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram attacks

12.4.2016 - (2016/2649(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 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Malin Björk, Patrick Le Hyaric, Barbara Spinelli, Paloma López Bermejo, Sofia Sakorafa, Lynn Boylan, Martina Anderson, Matt Carthy, Liadh Ní Riada, Marisa Matias, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Javier Couso Permuy, Ángela Vallina, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Tania González Peñas, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Lidia Senra Rodríguez on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0478/2016

Postup : 2016/2649(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the displacement of children in Northern Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram attacks


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Nigeria, in particular to those of 8 of October 2015, 30 April 2015 and 17 July 2014

-  having regard to the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing ,


-  having regard to the Resolution of the European Parliament on tax avoidance and tax evasion as challenges for governance, social protection and development in developing countries of July 2015,


–  having regard to Council of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting conclusions on abductions in Nigeria, 12 May 2014,


–  having regard to the fifth Nigeria-EU ministerial dialogue held in Abuja on 27 November 2014,


–  having regard to Council conclusions on the Boko Haram threat, 9 February 2015

–  having regard to Council conclusions on elections in Nigeria, 9 February 2015


– having regard to the regional conference on security held in Niamey on 20 January 2015;


–  having regard to the statements made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon,


–  having regard to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on violations and abuses committed by Boko Haram and the impact on human rights in the affected countries, 29 September 2015


–  having regard to the UN refugee agency calls on Nigeria to heed wishes of internally displaced, 23 February 2016


-   having regard to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of September 2015,


–  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 Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by Nigeria on 16th April 1991,


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

coherence for development in all European Union external policies,


–  having regard to the Geneva Conventions,


–  having regard to the convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol,

–  having regard to the UN Security Council resolution 2122 and 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security,


–  having regard to Article 208 TFEU, which establishes taking into the principle of policy coherence for development in all European Union external policies,



–   having regard to Rule 135(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas Nigeria is the most populous, cultural diverse country in Africa marked by and a North-South division with severe economic and social disparities,


B.  whereas since the abduction of about 270 school girls by Boko Haram militants from a school in Chibok on 14 April 2014, about 50 of the girls managed to escape, 219 of these girls remain missing despite the sparked international outrage and the campaign ž#bringbackourgirls,


C.  whereas the 24 of Novembre 2014, about 400 women and children, including at least 300 elementary school students, were abducted by Boko Haram from the town of Damasak in Borno State; whereas since then no concrete steps have been taken by the authorities to secure their release;


D.  whereas the 16 of March 2016, 25 people died and 23 were injured after an attack by two female suicide bombers on a mosque on the outskirts of Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria, whereas previously at least 85 persons had been killed in the town of Dalori near Maiduguri the 31 of January 2016 and 58 persons died in the of the camp of displaced persons at 90km of the same city during the attack by two kamikazes women the 10 of Febuary 2016;


E.  whereas the 25 of March Boko Haram abducted 16 women, including two girls, in neighbouring Adamawa state,


F. whereas according to the Nigerian army, the 25 of March 2016 Nigerian troops have freed more than 800 people held by Boko Haram in Borno state;


G.  whereas the 1 of April 2016 the chief of the group Ansaru: Khalid al-Barnawi (dissident of Boko haram and link to AQMI) has been arrested in Lokoja in the state of Kogi in the center of the country;


H.  Whereas at least 17,000 have been killed since Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009 to carve out an Islamic state in north-east Nigeria; whereas more than 2.6 million people have fled their homes since the start of the violence according to the International Organization for Migration;


I.  Whereas in febuary 2016 the Major General Ahmadu, who has been retired in 2014 for unrelated reasons, was reinstated; whereas he was in charge of 7 Division and was in command of operations when the military executed more than 640 detainees following a Boko Haram attack on the detention centre in Giwa barracks on 14 March 2014, whereas he was retired in 2014 for unrelated reasons, but reinstated this month; whereas the failure of the government to stamp out impunity for war crimes at the highest level remain one of the major issue in this country;


J.  whereas in July 2014 an EPA has been conclude between European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and will be ratified in 2016; whereas Nigeria has stubbornly refused to sign because of the negative impact this agreement will have for the economy and the development of the population;


K. whereas Nigeria is the biggest economy in the African continent but despite its vast resources, Nigeria ranks among the most unequal countries in the world;

Whereas the majority of the 148 million people in Nigeria live below the poverty line, while the country is the eighth largest oil producer;


L.  whereas there are endemic problems in Nigeria from an economic point of view, due to the monopolization of resources by a minority and major responsibilities of the former colonial powers in the plunder of Nigeria; whereas this situation has led to decades of social and cultural divisions between indigenous groups for control of fertile farmlands and with migrants and settlers from the north of the country; whereas the continuing instrumentalisation of the "ethnic question" has reinforced these divisions; whereas oil revenues have been steadily decreasing and an economic crisis is looming;


M. whereas fair and progressive tax regimes with welfare and social justice criteria provide vital finance to governments to cover citizens’ rights to basic public services, such as healthcare and education for all, and whereas effective redistributive fiscal policies are essential in decreasing the effect of growing inequalities by shaping the redistribution of wealth from higher income citizens to those most in need in a country;


N. whereas illicit financial flows (IFFs), i.e. all unrecorded private financial outflows involving capital that is illegally earned, transferred or utilised, typically originate from tax evasion activities, trade miss invoicing and abusive transfer pricing, against the principle that taxes should be paid where profits have been generated;


O.  whereas social equality, education, literacy, women's rights, social justice and a fair distribution of state revenues in society, reducing inequality and the fight against corruption are key for good governance and to fighting fundamentalism, violence and intolerance;


P.  whereas the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate with worsening food insecurity combined with poor access to education, safe drinking water and health services. In the most affected areas health centres have been destroyed. Many health workers have fled while others are not able to access those in need, leaving many families without health services, such as routine immunization, maternal and child care. Children are at risk of dying from diarrhoea, malaria or malnutrition.

1.  Strongly condemns the ongoing and increasing violence in Nigeria which has led to thousands of deaths and injuries and displaced more than 2.6 million of persons;


2.   Deplores the massacre of innocent women, men and children, the rapes, the use of torture, the recruitment of child soldiers, and stands with the people of Nigeria in their determination to fight all forms of violence in their country; insists on the paramount importance of duly protecting children's rights in a country with over a 40% of the total population between the ages 0 to 14;


3.  Insists on the fact that the fight against sectarians and terrorists groups could be efficient only if we address the causes and specifically problems related to inequality, the control of fertile farmland, unemployment and poverty; highlights the fact that the current situation shouldn’t be a pretext to restrict human rights and fundamental freedoms or to commit crimes; condemns the Nigerian military for using disproportionate force in its pursuit of Boko Haram;


4.  Deplores in that perspective the reinstatement of the Major General Ahmadu without any inquiry about the allegations of war crimes by the Nigerian troops under his responsibility; remind that the fight against corruption and impunity is one of the biggest challenges for the Nigerian authorities to achieve the goal of the construction of a free, democratic, fair, stable and secure State; calls for an independent and transparent investigation any human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, torture, rapes, children abuses, arbitrary arrests, and extortion-related abuses; Emphasises the importance of an independent, impartial, accessible judiciary system for all citizens, to put an end to impunity, to enhance respect for rule of law and fundamental rights of the population;


5.  Urges the Nigerian government and the international community to increase their efforts to ensure the release of the Chibok girls abducted in April 2014 and of the 400 women and children from the town of Damasak abducted in November 2014;


6.  Takes notes about the diminution of the number of executions in Nigeria in 2015; urges the Nigeria government to implement a moratorium on death penalty in view of its abolition;


7.  Believes that the peaceful resolution of disputes is only possible through respect for human rights, including the inalienable right of the people to dispose of itself and of its resources;


8.  Welcomes in that sense the refusal of Nigeria to sign and ratified an EPA with EU due to the dramatic consequences it could have for the economy and the Nigerian people; urges the EU to stop unbalanced and unfair trade agreements with third countries, including EPAs, and to build an new cooperation based on mutual development for the benefit of people instead of the interested of the multinationals companies; recalls the European Union and its Member States when negotiating tax treaties, shall comply with the principle of policy coherence for development established in Article 208 TFEU; The European Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries such Nigeria.


9.  Calls for an international investigation under the auspices of UN to determine the third country responsibilities in the organization and financing of terrorist groups in the region like Boko Haram, and the responsibility of multinationals and governments in the hoarding of wealth and deepening economic, social and cultural tensions, including through tax fraud;


10.  Calls on the international community to help the Nigerian forced migrants in neighbouring countries, calls the EU and it´s Member States to facilitate their access to European asylum and ensure human rights to all migrants;


11.  Urges the European Union and its Member States to ensure the increase of development aid and humanitarian aid to Nigeria specifically in the sectors of education and health including access to genesis care and safe abortion;


12.  Condemns the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Law, criminalizing LGTBI people ; Calls for the abolition of this law; Calls the Nigerian Government to promote gender equality and women's empowerment through boosting women and women rights organisations participation in public and political life; calls for a comprehensive EU approach on violence against women and girls with increased efforts and resources to prevent and eliminate all discriminatory practices against women as well as to combat and prosecute all forms of violence including trafficking in human beings, female genital mutilation, forced sterilisation, forced pregnancy, gendercide, domestic violence and marital rape, child, early and forced marriage and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations; calls for the development of specific EU actions to strengthen the rights of different groups of women, with a special attention to youth, migrants, women living with HIV, LGBTI persons and persons with disabilities


13.  Calls the Nigerian Government to promote gender equality and women's empowerment through boosting women and women rights organisations participation in public and political life and combatting all forms of violence against women including trafficking in human beings, female genital mutilation, forced sterilisation, forced pregnancy, gendercide, domestic violence and marital rape, child, early and forced marriage and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations;


14.  Calls on the European Union and its Member States to take concrete measures to efficiently curve illicit financial flows, tax evasion and avoidance, and boost democratic international cooperation in tax matters notably regarding the European companies present in Nigeria in order to enhance wealth redistribution;


15.  Calls on the European Commission to introduce a legislative proposal for binding and enforceable mechanisms on enterprises and Human Rights, especially in case of EU based companies operating in third countries such as Nigeria;


16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the government and parliament of Nigeria, the Representatives of ECOWAS and the African Union;