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Sreda, 14. marec 2012 - Strasbourg Pregledana izdaja

15. Razmere v Nigeriji (razprava)
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  Elnök. − A következő pont a Bizottság alelnökének/az Unió külügyi és biztonságpolitikai főképviselőjének nyilatkozata – A nigériai helyzet

 
  
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  Villy Søvndal, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to speak on Nigeria on behalf of the High Representative. It is a pleasure to be here today to discuss this matter.

Nigeria is at a crucial juncture. President Jonathan’s reform policy can shape Nigeria’s future. Its democracy is consolidating and its economy is growing rapidly. Nigeria has the potential to become the biggest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa within a few years. It plays a major role on the African continent, it was a member of the Security Council last year and is a member of the Human Rights Commission this year. Former President Obasanjo recently led the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – African Union mission in Dakar to monitor the elections and this sent a strong message in support of democracy and people’s rights.

I would like to thank the honourable Members for their interest in Nigeria for recent months. I say this with particular conviction, because I had the pleasure of representing High Representative/Vice-President Ashton at the recent Ministerial meeting with Nigeria in Abuja on 8 February. It was a remarkable occasion and a very positive one.

Nigeria still faces crucial challenges: The European Union strongly condemns the recent attacks carried out by Boko Haram, with appalling loss of human lives. The Christmas bombings of churches and the recent suicide attack on a church in Jos on 26 February and again on 11 March are deeply shocking. So are all of the other attacks, including that in Kano some weeks ago. They should all be condemned.

Unfortunately, the number of attacks and human losses are increasing every day in an unacceptable spiral of violence. High Representative Ashton has repeatedly expressed her solidarity and sympathy with the victims, the injured and their families.

I also wish to make use of this opportunity to express our profound sadness at the loss of life of two European hostages in Nigeria on 8 March. We condemn in the strongest possible terms criminal actions such as the taking of hostages. Our heartfelt condolences go to their families for the irreplaceable loss they have faced. May they find strength in this difficult time.

The EU stands alongside the Nigerian authorities in their fight against terrorism, to protect all citizens, in particular the most vulnerable, and to preserve the right to life and the rule of law.

The root causes of Boko Haram are many, but it is no coincidence that it is strongest in the north of the country, which has some of the worst socio-economic indicators in Africa. Nigeria’s North-East Region is one of the world’s forgotten emergencies: the grievances there need to be addressed urgently, and we as partners and friends have promised the government to help them do so.

Boko Haram is targeting the secular democratic state, and Muslims and Christians. Nigeria remains a secular state with religious freedom firmly enshrined in its constitution. However, Boko Haram is trying to exploit the ethno-religious differences, which will always exist in a country as big and diverse as Nigeria. Nigeria’s complex problems certainly have religious dimensions, but they cannot simply be blamed on religion. We have a well-established regular local human rights dialogue with Nigeria, during which all important issues, including freedom of religion or belief, are raised. The most recent such dialogue meeting took place in February this year. The EU is committed to supporting the government and people of Nigeria in ensuring religion is not misused to legitimise politically or criminally motivated violence.

I would like to add that the EU has been very active on the issue of freedom of religion or belief, especially during the last two years, as many countries – not only Nigeria – have experienced a surge of acts of religious hatred and violence.

We have used our full range of instruments, either bilaterally or in multilateral fora, in New York and Geneva, to be at the forefront of the fight against religious intolerance. We will continue to do so. EU delegations have been requested to follow closely the situation of their host countries and report on issues and actions taken. As required by the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in February 2011, the overall action of the EU in this respect should be reviewed by the Foreign Affairs Council in the coming months.

There are, fortunately, some positive signs of Nigerians taking initiatives to ease the situation, such as the Association of Muslim Students, who exposed on Facebook the fallacies of Boko Haram. Important leaders of Islam in Nigeria have rejected Boko Haram as misguided and murderous fanatics. Nigeria’s Catholic bishops have highlighted that the Boko Haram crisis has also brought the best out of many Nigerians such as Muslims and Christians protecting each other. The government is also making progress in developing and implementing a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, and several prominent Boko Haram members have been arrested. During my meetings with the Nigerian Government in February, I encouraged them to explore this counter-terrorism strategy further.

Nigeria matters to the wider world. It plays a big stabilising role in the region. It is the fourth-largest oil exporter in the world and the second most important exporter of natural gas to the EU. Nigeria is firmly committed to the UN, is a major provider of UN peacekeepers and is vocal and robust in its support for democracies and freedom. Nigeria’s positions in the recent Ivorian and Libyan crises speak for themselves. In short, I found a strong and open African partner, which in many ways shares our views and our values.

The Ministerial meeting resulted in several openings, which we should now explore further. One is the agreement on establishing a local dialogue on peace, security and stability, and others openings are Nigeria’s interest in climate change and Rio+20.

It was interesting to hear from Nigeria’s leaders how they see their economic development. They are diversifying to reduce their dependence on oil and gas, investing in infrastructure and agriculture, and focusing on job creation for their young and growing population of 160 million people. I heard many times that Nigeria strongly encourages European investment and participation in its strong growth.

On the other hand, Nigeria faces serious challenges, not least widespread poverty. Better governance, maintaining ethnic harmony and fighting corruption and crime are some of the big tasks it faces. Although Nigeria’s human rights record has improved steadily in recent years, there are still areas where further improvement could be achieved.

The security situation in the Niger Delta, although improving, remains fragile. The region is vital for the national economy because of its oil production so ensuring its peaceful development is essential. The EU is currently implementing a EUR 200 million programme to assist the development of the region.

Bricks, stones and words can be used to separate people, but they can also build bridges. Therefore, honourable Members, I call upon you to use your contacts with Nigerians to support and facilitate this absolutely essential bridge-building with Nigeria and I look forward to the resolution that the European Parliament will adopt tomorrow.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro, a nome del gruppo PPE. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor ministro, nel ringraziarla per una dichiarazione corposa e consistente e che entra nel merito con osservazioni particolarmente pregnanti di quella che è la situazione in Nigeria, desidero ricordare pubblicamente in quest'Aula non genericamente i due cittadini europei, ma Franco Lamolinara e Chris McManus, e cioè due uomini, due persone che molto amando quel paese hanno sacrificato a quella latitudine la loro vita e che sono da considerare, io credo, al pari di tutti i cittadini nigeriani che hanno perso la vita in questi mesi, ostaggi di una strategia particolarmente feroce.

La strategia, cioè, che contrabbandando il nome di Dio per conseguire il proprio progetto di potere, sta mettendo in ginocchio gli sforzi che governo, popolo e istituzioni nigeriane, società civile nigeriana stanno facendo per fare di questo paese, un paese leader dentro l'area africana. E allora, signor ministro, io dico che realmente il problema della Nigeria non è la tensione etnica o religiosa, ma che dietro le tensioni etniche o religiose ci sono gli interessi e le strategie di potere per conseguire quegli interessi che hanno caratterizzato in modo così negativo gli ultimi mesi.

Ma cionondimeno noi dobbiamo essere preoccupati, perché avere noi chiarezza di giudizio non vuol dire che siamo in grado di evitare il rischio di una guerra civile. Perché quella strategia in molte aree del paese sta avendo il sopravvento. La strategia cioè dei gruppi fondamentalisti che, è vero, fanno un uso distorto della religione per avere chance dal punto di vista del controllo delle risorse energetiche per esempio, ma nello stesso tempo, in questo momento, trovano grande fragilità di risposta da parte di un governo che sembra particolarmente indeciso.

Le chiedo peraltro di essere particolarmente sollecito nel portare avanti gli intendimenti che lei ha esposto e avrà in questo il supporto di tutto il Parlamento. Grazie.

 
  
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  Véronique De Keyser, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, c'est vrai, Monsieur le Ministre, qu'il est difficile pour le Nigeria d'imaginer un pareil contraste, un cocktail très explosif de tensions.

On a, d'une part, une pauvreté – qui reste extrême – du peuple, en particulier du nord, et, d'autre part, des richesses pétrolières immenses, qui sont exploitées par des compagnies qui n'hésitent pas à polluer les eaux du Niger. On a aussi des conflits confessionnaux entre le nord islamique et le sud chrétien, la présence de Boko Haram et donc d'un terrorisme dur, qui a causé deux tragiques décès d'otages. Il reste de la corruption politique. Il y a des troubles sociaux sur fond de pauvreté, mais vous avez parlé – c'est vrai –, d'un début d'émergence d'une démocratie, de prise en charge par les Nigérians de leur propre destin.

Malgré tout, la violence reste leur lot quotidien. Le paradoxe de tout cela, c'est de voir effectivement le rôle – et vous l'avez bien décrit – que le Nigeria joue au niveau international et au niveau africain, en Afrique de l'Ouest en particulier. Il contribue – vous l'avez dit – à promouvoir la CEDEAO, dont le siège est à Abuja. Il a multiplié les initiatives en matière de résolution de conflits. Il a conduit des réunions de médiation au cours des dernières années au Soudan, en République démocratique du Congo, au Zimbabwe. Il est engagé dans de nombreuses opérations de maintien de la paix et de l'ONU en Afrique. Il a même, récemment, déployé une force de police entièrement féminine au Liberia.

Au sujet de ce Nigeria dont nous parlons aujourd'hui dans la résolution, avec sa face sombre et sa face claire, nous avons voulu tout de même condenser des demandes très précises que nous vous prions de relayer. Nous demandons d'exiger des compagnies pétrolières de la transparence, le respect de l'environnement et la dépollution des dommages causés à l'environnement. Il y a des rapports entiers d'Amnesty International sur la question. Nous avons demandé d'abolir la loi qui criminalise l'homosexualité, puis, je le dis avec force – c'est une priorité de mon groupe – de relâcher les syndicalistes prisonniers et, enfin, de veiller à une distribution plus équitable des richesses et à la tolérance religieuse, l'intolérance restant le terreau du terrorisme.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, last year I was an election observer in Nigeria. The hope and anticipation among Nigerians was remarkable. They welcomed observers; anything that could ensure their vote would count and be counted transparently.

On the night before the first round, an explosion close to Abuja killed 25 people preparing for the elections – most of them youngsters, serving their year in the National Youth Service Corps, sons and daughters of Nigeria. Violent extremism kills indiscriminately and, combined with poverty, corruption and related problems, it does not take much imagination to picture how the extremists would achieve their goal to destabilise the country, to pit people of different religions against each other and to recruit those without perspective.

Nigeria is home to one fifth of Africans. It is a leading nation in West Africa, for better or worse. Half of the population – 75 million people – are under 18 years of age. They will demand the opportunities they deserve. Many of the youngsters know more about the world than their parents did, through media and new media, including the fact that not everyone is poor and that it is not necessary to be poor in such a rich country. The young generation filmed the vote count of the elections on their cell phones and they will hold the authorities accountable. I would not be surprised at a Nigerian Spring one day.

We must invest in this young generation and do what we can to give them education and opportunities. An important prevention for being recruited by extremist networks is such independence economically. Nigeria is rich – I emphasise it again – in resources and in human capital. The EU stands ready to help to ensure more equal benefit from wealth and more equal distribution and good governance and to prevent and end the terrorism in a sustainable way.

 
  
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  Judith Sargentini, namens de Verts/ALE-Fractie. – Nigera: er wonen meer dan 150 miljoen mensen en het is de grootste olieproducent van Afrika. Als het met Nigeria niet goed gaat, dan destabiliseert de hele regio.

En het gaat niet zo goed met Nigeria. Terwijl het land goed geld kan verdienen aan olie, leeft meer dan de helft van de bevolking in armoede. Grootschalige corruptie ligt daaraan ten grondslag. De oliedollars verdwijnen in de zakken van de happy few. De kloof tussen arm en rijk neemt toe, en Nigeria is een voorbeeld van de talrijke landen in Afrika waar rijkdom aan grondstoffen een zege zou moeten zijn, maar ondertussen een vloek wordt.

Armoede maakt mensen gevoelig voor extreme ideeën. Religieuze groeperingen stappen in het gat dat de overheid laat vallen. Jouw armoede is te wijten aan de ander, de ander die het verkeerde geloof aanhangt. Of een variant daarop: jouw armoede is te wijten aan het feit dat jij niet streng genoeg bent in de leer. Wees met ons streng in de leer.

Bevolkingsgroepen in Nigeria staan elkaar naar het leven uit naam van een God. En dat mogen wij best benoemen. Maar daarna is het zaak dat wij naar de echte oorzaken van armoede zoeken en kijken of daar iets aan te doen valt. Een daarvan is corruptie. Europa kan op korte termijn in ieder geval iets doen om die corruptie daar te bestrijden door onze transparantierichtlijn voor de olie en de mijnbouw uit te voeren. Want als wij openbaar maken wat Europese bedrijven betalen aan de Nigeriaanse overheid, dan weet de Nigeriaan het ook, en dan verdwijnt het geld niet in hele diepe, duistere zakken.

Het is voor mij dan ook een teleurstelling om te zien dat Shell, Nederlands grootste oliemaatschappij en een zeer belangrijke speler in de Nigerdelta, met de Nederlandse overheid probeert die transparantierichtlijn om zeep te helpen.

Mijn verzoek aan mijn collega´s en aan de Europese Commissie is om dit niet te laten gebeuren.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I last spoke on Nigeria in 2010 after the Jos massacres. Recent events, following repeated atrocities and kidnappings by the jihadi group Boko Haram, remind us that Nigeria sadly is a chronically unstable country.

By rights Nigeria as the most populated and oil-rich country in Sub-Saharan Africa should be vying for a permanent seat with South Africa on the UN Security Council, but instead there are now concerns about a civil war between the Muslim-majority north and Christian-majority south, to which are added ethnic, cultural and economic tensions in Nigeria. The central government struggles against these factors and in fighting the still very widespread corruption in public life.

The added element of a secessionist insurgency from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta makes the security situation particularly precarious in this country. The introduction of Sharia law in 12 states, in contradiction of the secular, federal constitution, also causes widespread fear amongst Christians in the north and there are increasing concerns about the long-term sustainability of Nigeria as a unitary state.

The recent brave attempts on 8 March by the British Special Boat Service to free the kidnapped Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and British Christopher McManus ended in the tragic death of both individuals and I extend on behalf of my group my deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased. Boko Haram and all those responsible should be held accountable for the murder of these two EU citizens.

President Goodluck Jonathan struggles to bring order and security to his country and is committed to fighting corruption and ending massive economic subsidies such as to fuel, in order to restore free market economics to Nigeria’s large economy.

We in the EU should give every support to his government. Any further escalation of violence will have massive repercussions in West Africa and result in large flows of refugees to Europe, particularly to my country, the United Kingdom.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera, a nome del gruppo EFD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, come abbiamo, visto continuano su larga scala le persecuzioni e le uccisioni dei cristiani in Nigeria. Gli ultimi dati ufficiali dicono che il gruppo armato Boko Haram che vuole islamizzare il paese ha ucciso 1 200 cristiani negli ultimi due anni e costretto 35 000 cristiani alla fuga. Ma anche in alcuni paesi arabi, come in Egitto, in Iraq, sono migliaia i cittadini cristiani discriminati, talvolta uccisi o costretti all'esilio.

Si sta verificando una specie di razzismo religioso contro i cristiani che viene accettato quasi con rassegnazione o con fatalismo. In questa situazione le istituzioni internazionali, compresa l'Europa, e le personalità politico-religiose che hanno un ruolo importante, devono alzare alta e forte la voce per richiamare i governi alle loro responsabilità. E vorrei vedere, aggiungo, i cittadini islamici così detti moderati che rifiutano giustamente l'estremismo, scendere in campo insieme a noi per difendere i diritti dei loro concittadini cristiani.

Ritornando alla Nigeria, è stata citata l'ampia povertà, la diffusa povertà di così tanti milioni di persone in un paese che è straordinariamente ricco e che potrebbe dare benessere a tutti i cittadini con grande facilità. Esiste un problema, come ha citato la collega Sargentini, che è quello della corruzione; così diffusa, così pervasiva che altera le strutture sociali del paese. Con la corruzione non esiste il rispetto ambientale, non esiste mercato libero, non esiste opportunità per il commercio e per i giovani e quindi alla fine non esiste neppure la democrazia.

La Nigeria in realtà ha bisogno di una classe dirigente seria e preparata e di molta onestà, senza le quali non è possibile parlare di un paese moderno e non è possibile parlare di un paese democratico.

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). - Herr Präsident, Herr Minister, meine Damen und Herren! Es mag schon sein, dass es einige Spezifika in Bezug auf Terrorismus und Gewalt in Nigeria gibt. Es ist auch längst bekannt, dass es in zwölf Bundesstaaten die Scharia gibt. Seit Jahren gibt es Tausende Tote in Nigeria. Wir wissen das alles, und seit Jahren geschieht nichts. Aber insgesamt ist doch – und da möchte ich beim Kollegen Provera anknüpfen – erkennbar, dass es in vielen muslimischen Ländern, die sich angeblich sogar in einem neuen Frühling befinden sollen, zu massiven Verfolgungen von Christen kommt. Ob das in Ägypten, Saudi-Arabien, Irak, Pakistan, Syrien oder im Sudan ist, es ist auffällig, dass dort immer mehr Christen unter Druck kommen und wir keine Antwort darauf finden. Daher muss die Europäische Union den Versuch wagen, eine neue Offensiv- und Defensivstrategie zu entwickeln und zu begründen und sie auch in die Politik einfließen zu lassen. Es genügt nicht, morgen diese Erklärung zu verabschieden. So richtig sie sein mag – sie ist nicht falsch, daher kann man sie mittragen –, aber es ist damit nicht getan. Papier ist geduldig. Die Situation der Christen in diesen aufgezählten Ländern ist leider nicht so „geduldig“, und die Menschen dort brauchen dringend unsere Hilfe. Daher muss – und das hat nichts mit religiösen Konflikten zu tun – Europa diesen Christen auch im Sinne der Glaubens- und Gewissensfreiheit beistehen und sich neue Strategien und neue Entwicklungen überlegen, wie man diesen Menschen besser helfen kann und mehr Druck auf die Regierungen ausübt, damit sie diesen Menschen auch tatsächlich beistehen.

 
  
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  Villy Søvndal, formand for Rådet. − Hr. formand! Tak for debatten. Jeg synes, det har været spændende. Som sagt har jeg nye indtryk med fra mit besøg i Nigeria, og dem vil jeg gerne bidrage yderligere med i forhold til nogle af de ting, der er blevet sagt. Bagefter vil jeg overlade stolen her til kommissæren, som vil tage sig af det videre forløb.

Jeg vil gerne indlede med at sige, at der er nogen, der har en interesse i at gøre dette til en religiøs konflikt. Et dramatisk religiøst sammenstød. Det er det, Boko Haram ønsker - nemlig at dette bliver det store religiøse clash. Jeg tror, at man skal passe meget på ikke at spille deres spil i et land, hvor religionerne sidder sammen i samme regering, i et land, hvor mennesker på tværs af religioner gifter sig med hinanden, i et land, hvor man bor blandet, i et land, hvor man netop har været i stand til at undgå det store religiøse clash. Jeg tror, at man her skal være meget forsigtig med at spille det religiøse spil. Når det er sagt, så er dette jo netop en kamp for alle religioners ret til at blive udøvet, til at blive beskyttet, til at blive taget hånd om. Jeg tror, at man i denne debat skal huske, at de første, der bliver dræbt, når Boko Haram tager fat, det er de muslimske grupperinger, der laver deres angreb oppe i den nordlige del af landet.

Jeg vil også gerne tilslutte mig dem, der dybt har beklaget angrebene fra samme organisation den 8. marts. Vi har udtrykt vores helhjertede kondolence til ofrenes familier. Vi fordømmer disse handlinger som det, de er, nemlig kriminelle handlinger. Det er en kriminel handling at slå andre mennesker ihjel, uanset hvilket argument man anvender som begrundelse for det. Jeg tror, at det er vigtigt at gentage, at der ikke findes noget argument på denne jord, der giver mennesker ret til at tage andre menneskers liv i en politisk sag. Derfor skal dem, der gør det, stilles for retten. De skal dømmes. De skal puttes i fængsel. De skal ikke ophøjes til martyrer for det, de har gjort. Det er simple kriminelle handlinger at slå andre mennesker ihjel.

Jeg håber, at nogle af jer får mulighed for at besøge Nigerias politiske ledere, både deres præsident og en række af deres ministre. Jeg håber så også, at I kommer tilbage med det samme indtryk, som jeg gjorde, nemlig at det er meget sjældent at se et afrikansk land, der har politiske ledere af så høj moralsk styrke, så stor dygtighed. Det er der også brug for, da de står over for kæmpe udfordringer i forhold til, at der er tale om et land med en meget ung befolkning, et land med stor analfabetisme, et land, der stort set er bundet til olien som deres eneste indtægtskilde, et land, der har problemer med terrorisme oppe mod nord, et land, der i øvrigt har udsigt til at fordoble sin befolkning i løbet af de næste 40 år. Det er lidt af en mundfuld for en regering, når man i øvrigt er leder af et fattigt land. Netop derfor er det så godt, at de har en regering af så høj moral, som tilfældet er.

Det er jo bemærkelsesværdigt, at selv i denne situation, med de odds, da formår Nigeria at spille rollen som en stabiliserende faktor i forhold til de vestafrikanske områder, som i øvrigt har haft en meget høj økonomisk vækst de seneste år. Jeg er også enig med alle dem, der har sagt, at det er helt afgørende for et land som Nigeria, som ikke er et fattigt land, at sørge for at få fordelt goderne bedre til fordel for de mange og bekæmpe korruptionen. Det forsøger de også at gøre, men de folk, der står i spidsen for bekæmpelsen af korruption, holder ikke ret længe i jobbet - for det er et relativt farligt job! Med disse bemærkninger vil jeg ønske jer en fortsat god debat. Vi har brug for, at Europa-Parlamentet holder øje med, hvad der sker i dette land, som måske ender med at bliver verdens tredjestørste land befolkningsmæssigt i løbet af de næste 40 år.

 
  
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  Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE). - Het aantal aanslagen dat gepleegd is door de radicaal islamitische groepering Boko Haram is de laatste tijd weer ongelooflijk toegenomen. Honderden mensen zijn gedood.

Religie wordt door Boko Haram gebruikt om Nigeria te destabiliseren. De sociaal-economische ongelijkheid, de armoede, de hoge werkloosheid, de corruptie en met name de uitzichtloosheid voor jonge mensen, vormen een vruchtbare bodem voor extremisme. Ik denk - en mijn collega's hebben dat ook al gezegd - dat wij als Europese Unie niet alleen het geweld krachtig moeten veroordelen, maar ook alles moeten doen wat Nigeria kan steunen. Het belangrijkste daarbij is dat wij als internationale gemeenschap ook de onderliggende oorzaken blootleggen, die maken dat in een zo rijk land als Nigeria mensen niet echt rijk kunnen worden.

Dat betekent dat wij ook alles moeten doen om samenwerking in de regio te stimuleren. Wij als EU moeten bijdragen aan dat proces. Ik heb begrepen dat de Nederlandse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken vorige week gevraagd heeft om Boko Haram aan de lijst van terroristische organisaties toe te voegen. Ik vraag mij af of dat ook gebeurd is, en zo niet, wanneer dat dan gebeurt.

 
  
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  Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D). - Señor Presidente, señor Comisario, debo comenzar mi intervención condenando la violencia que ha estado teniendo lugar los últimos meses en Nigeria. Nigeria es el país más poblado de África y el que tiene las mejores perspectivas de crecimiento económico y para atraer la inversión exterior. Su condición de país exportador de petróleo le permite obtener ingentes recursos que deben atender a la fundamental tarea de luchar contra la pobreza y la desigualdad que gravemente afectan al país.

Señor Comisario, como en numerosas ocasiones hemos defendido los miembros de la Comisión de Desarrollo, los derechos humanos, la democracia y el desarrollo tienen una relación sinérgica y de mutuo refuerzo. En las raíces del conflicto en el que se encuentra Nigeria ahora podemos encontrar la más absoluta pobreza en la que se encuentra sumida una gran proporción de su población. Y es que las riquezas del país no se encuentran redistribuidas entre las capas más bajas de la población, y esto convierte a millones de nigerianos en personas vulnerables y carentes de acceso a los servicios más básicos.

La Unión Europea, mediante su política de cooperación al desarrollo, puede marcar una verdadera diferencia en el país. Debemos centrar nuestra estrategia común de lucha contra la pobreza en la provisión de los servicios básicos, como la salud y la educación para las personas más vulnerables. El valor añadido de la Unión Europea en este país debería ser, sin duda, lograr disminuir las desigualdades y que el crecimiento que el país experimenta se tradujera en cada vez menos personas en situación de extrema pobreza.

Pero, atención, porque hoy sabemos mejor que nunca que nuestra política de cooperación no será suficiente. Hemos de perseguir una coherencia en el resto de las políticas de la Unión Europea con Nigeria. Quiero señalar, también, la importancia de la transparencia y la responsabilidad de las empresas europeas que trabajan en el país.

Querría concluir, señor Comisario, indicando un riesgo gravísimo de amenaza a Nigeria y a la región del África del Oeste y del Sáhel. La ya muy prolongada sequía, las pobres cosechas, la falta de cabezas de ganado y el aumento, de nuevo, del precio de los alimentos nos están ya indicando la llegada de una hambruna a la región. Las agencias de las Naciones Unidas y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil ya lo están anunciando. Reaccionemos todos a tiempo y demos respuestas al hambre antes de que se cobre más víctimas en esta región.

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, au risque de pécher par manque d'originalité, laissez-moi dire que la violence, voire la barbarie, hélas à l'ordre du jour au Nigeria, y trouvent un terrain très fertile à leur développement. Le Nigeria est encore incapable d'assumer ses fonctions régaliennes, dont notamment la protection de ses citoyens. Son autorité est régulièrement minée par des factions agissant soit au service de l'intégrisme islamique, soit au service de la violence dont sont victimes les minorités religieuses et ethniques.

Il y a lieu de rappeler cependant que le Nigeria n'est pas un État privé de ressources. Celles-ci, et notamment la manne pétrolière, ne sont pas ou mal affectées aux besoins de la population. Les mesures approuvées par la Commission pour remédier à l'instabilité dans le delta du Niger, pour oeuvrer à l'amélioration de la gouvernance, pour apporter le soutien aux mesures anti-corruption, et j'en passe, sont certes pertinentes et utiles mais la responsabilité incombe au premier chef aux autorités du Nigeria.

 
  
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  Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, I very much welcome the opportunity, at long last, to have a debate on Nigeria. It is a major country, as we have heard, which is extremely important in the region and potentially internationally. I very much regret that the only way we seem to be able to discuss events in Nigeria is via yet another resolution which has taken religion as its focus.

I want to respond to some of what has been said today. Let us be clear here that, while Boko Haram is the major force behind the violence, they are not killing only Christians. Muslims have died too. They have also assassinated Muslims who do not agree with them. However, there have also been Muslim deaths where Christians – or so-called Christians – have retaliated. We have also seen these events being condemned by political and faith leaders from a variety of different perspectives.

It is very important to remember what has been said about what links this country, and not just what divides it. Yes, corruption is an issue. There is more that we could be doing. I, for one, very much welcome the recent trial in British courts of Ibori, a former governor of Delta State, which put him in jail. There is more that our own countries can do to deal with corruption.

The people of Nigeria want a government that is fit for purpose. That is why, as we have heard, they were willing to stand for hours in the sun waiting to vote. However, I believe that the European Union too needs to change its relationship with Nigeria and that this Parliament should be strengthening its relationships with the Nigerian Parliament.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder (EFD). - De islamitische terreurorganisatie Boko Haram houdt het noorden van Nigeria in haar greep. Een beklemmende situatie, waarin christenen liever zelf hun kerken en geloofsgemeenschappen beschermen dan op politie of leger te bouwen - zo hoorde ik vanmorgen nog van een plaatselijke waarnemer.

Het teugelloze geweld van Boko Haram en islamitische navolgers zorgt voor een geweldig spanningsveld binnen de grote christelijke minderheid in Noord-Nigeria. De oudere generatie wil de jongeren op Bijbelse gronden weerhouden van wraakacties jegens hun islamitische medeburgers, die ook het slachtoffer worden van Boko Haram, en juist verzoeningsgezindheid betrachten.

Een geestelijke worsteling die krachtige, onpartijdige overheidssteun verdient. Daarmee raak ik aan een kernprobleem dat ook in de resolutie wordt genoemd. In hoeverre heeft de Boko Haram de Nigeriaanse staatsinstellingen geïnfiltreerd?

Ik heb daarover twee vragen die ik graag aan de hoge vertegenwoordiger of aan haar plaatsvervanger zou willen stellen. Ik geef ze nu mee aan de commissaris en ik hoop ze volgende week ook aan mevrouw Ashton te stellen als zij de vergadering van de Commissie Buitenlandse Zaken bezoekt. Want heeft mevrouw Ashton, of de Raad hier zicht op? In hoeverre heeft infiltratie op hoog niveau in Nigeria plaatsgehad?

En mijn tweede vraag is, op grond van berichtgeving: in hoeverre manifesteert de Boko Haram zich dichterbij in Europa, in grote Nigeriaanse gemeenschappen in bijvoorbeeld Groot-Brittannië? Buitengewoon belangrijke vragen, ook voor de Europese stellingname.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). - Mr President, coming from Northern Ireland, I know only too well the fear and the pain the Nigerian people are suffering as the result of the wanton violence of terrorist groups who kill others because of their religion. The broad Christian population of Nigeria is living in fear. Suicide bombers have targeted places of worship. In late February in the city of Jos, three people died as a bomb was driven into a church in but one of the latest attacks.

The terrorists gave this chilling warning: we attacked simply because it is a church, and we can decide to attack any church. We have just started. It seems that the militant Islamists of Boko Haram desire to rid Nigeria of its Christian population. Of course I accept the point made by others in this House that others apart from Christians have suffered and died, and I want to make it clear that I condemn all these attacks.

Losing your life because of your religion is not acceptable. We in this House should call it for what it is. It is not simply all about poverty or corruption, but it is about attacking a particular section of society.

 
  
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  Filip Kaczmarek (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Szanowni Państwo! W 2010 r. Parlament Europejski przyjął rezolucję potępiającą masowe masakry w okolicach Jos, gdzie doszło wówczas do pogromu chrześcijan. Niestety dziś możemy stwierdzić, że sytuacja w Nigerii pogorszyła się. Swoboda wyznania jest wprawdzie gwarantowana poprzez konstytucję, ale władze państwowe są zbyt słabe, aby walczyć ze zorganizowaną przestępczością, która nie akceptuje wolności.

Organizacja Boko Haram, która terroryzuje społeczność chrześcijańską i walczy o wprowadzeni szariatu we wszystkich stanach Nigerii, ucieka się do zamachów bombowych, w których zginęło już ponad tysiąc osób. Tydzień temu z rąk tego samego ugrupowania zginęło dwóch zakładników: Brytyjczyk i Włoch, którzy byli przetrzymywani przez 10 miesięcy.

Dwa lata temu Parlament Europejski miał wątpliwości, czy głównym podłożem ekscesów w Nigerii jest religia. Źródła przemocy w Nigerii eksperci uważali za bardzo złożone: ekonomiczne, społeczne, etniczne, polityczne. Dziś wydaje się oczywiste, że podstawową przyczyną gwałtów jest jednak nienawiść religijna. Boko Haram można przetłumaczyć na „zachodnia edukacja jest grzechem”, a nakaz walki z grzechem, występkiem, ma charakter religijny. Wniosek jest taki, że musimy wspierać w Nigerii tych, którzy starają się przeciwstawić fanatykom religijnym.

 
  
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  Thijs Berman (S&D). - Wij zijn allen verontrust over de berichten in Nigeria. De aanslagen van 20 januari in Kano, waarbij meer dan 150 mensen werden gedood, de ontvoeringen, de mislukte reddingsacties en de tragische gebeurtenissen van het afgelopen weekeinde, waarbij een zelfmoordaanslag op een kerk met tenminste drie doden leidde tot een wraakactie met tien doden tot gevolg.

Die explosieve spanningen tussen de bevolkingsgroepen toont de onmacht aan van de Nigeriaanse overheid. Om stabiliteit te creëren zal er een dialoog moeten zijn tussen de religies en tussen de regio's, maar bovenal moet de rechtsstaat functioneren zodat deze misdaden niet ongestraft blijven.

De rijkdom van Nigeria zou het land een enorme welvaart moeten opleveren en het tegendeel is waar. De olie lijkt louter problemen met zich mee te brengen, zoals milieuvervuiling, ontvoeringen van buitenlanders, winsten die wegvloeien naar rijkere landen. En wij, de Europese Unie en haar burgers, kunnen een belangrijke rol spelen bij de stabilisatie van Nigeria. Als niet alle winst van de oliewinning naar de grote internationale bedrijven zoals Shell zou gaan, dan zou de lokale bevolking ook profiteren van deze lucratieve inkomstenbron. En als deze grote internationale bedrijven nu eens netjes belasting zouden afdragen, dan zou de overheid sterker kunnen worden.

Daarom moet die transparantierichtlijn er ook snel komen, zoals ook mijn collega Judith Sargentini net heeft gezegd. Een eerlijk verdeelde welvaart is een garantie voor stabiliteit. In de nieuwe plannen voor het externe beleid van de Unie nemen principes zoals democratie en rechtsstaat, vrede en veiligheid een belangrijke plek in. Hoe de Europese Unie, en hoe de hoge vertegenwoordiger in het bijzonder, Nigeria zal bijstaan bij de huidige ontwikkelingen, zal duidelijk maken wat deze principes ons in de praktijk waard zijn.

 
  
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  Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, tra le tante sventure della Nigeria si deve registrare anche l'uccisione di Franco Lamolinara e di Chris McManus, due cittadini europei nello sfortunato tentativo di liberarli. Una pagina triste soprattutto per la loro morte, ma anche per il modo con il quale l'operazione è stata coordinata tra i paesi interessati e per l'assenza, almeno apparente della dimensione europea, caro Commissario.

L'Italia si è lamentata per la scarsa informazione di quanto stava per accadere – e questo è già un problema – ma qui mi preme dire al Commissario che i cittadini europei hanno bisogno di un volto visibile della nostra politica estera comune, che sappia assumersi le proprie responsabilità a nome degli Stati membri, in particolare laddove accade, come in Nigeria, uno scarso coordinamento.

Oggi, sono molti a leccarsi le ferite, gli italiani che non hanno saputo entrare nella partita della liberazione, i britannici per un'operazione fallimentare e l'Europa per il basso profilo tenuto. Condanniamo il terrorismo, peraltro tradizionalmente un fenomeno del tutto alieno alla cultura africana, e chiediamo alla Nigeria il massimo sforzo, ma dobbiamo imparare in fretta anche quanto spetta all'Unione europea, se vogliamo essere credibili dinanzi ai cittadini europei.

 
  
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  Barbara Lochbihler (Verts/ALE). - Herr Präsident! Die grausamen Gewalttaten der Organisation Boko Haram sind schon von einigen Kollegen angesprochen worden. Sie sind entsetzlich und erreichen in ihrer Brutalität immer wieder die Weltmedien. Ich möchte hier daran erinnern, dass es auch in der Vergangenheit zu extremen Gewaltakten in Nigeria kam.

Im Juli 2009 wurden mehr als 700 Menschen getötet, im Januar 2010 im Bundesstaat Plateau wurden bei religiöser und ethnisch motivierter Gewalt mehr als 300 Personen getötet und mehr als 10 000 Menschen wurden vertrieben. Die Regierung setzte jeweils Untersuchungskommissionen ein, die recherchierten und einen Bericht verfassten. Doch weder 2009 noch 2010, und auch schon davor 2008, wurden diese Untersuchungsberichte veröffentlicht und Verantwortliche benannt.

Das sind gravierende Versäumnisse, und deshalb möchte ich die Forderung in unserer Entschließung besonders unterstreichen, dass es unabhängige Untersuchungen dieser Menschenrechtsverletzungen gibt, und dass es dann anschließend zur fairen strafrechtlichen Verfolgung der Täter kommt, und zwar der Täter auf allen Seiten der Konflikte. Das möchte ich anmahnen.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD). - Szanowny Panie Przewodniczący! Na naszych oczach w Nigerii dochodzi do strasznych dramatów, śmierci, morderstw niewinnych ludzi, którzy padają ofiarami religijnego szaleństwa. Ekstremiści muzułmańscy napadają na chrześcijan, mordując ich tylko dlatego, że ci wyznają inną religię, inaczej postrzegają swoją kulturę, tradycję, przywiązanie do wartości. To jest straszne, że w dzisiejszym świecie dzieją się na masową skalę tego rodzaju dramaty.

A przecież pierwsze starcia między muzułmanami a chrześcijanami notowano już w 1990 r. i niestety społeczność międzynarodowa nie wydawała się wtedy zbyt konsekwentna w swojej postawie. Skutki tej bierności mogliśmy zobaczyć choćby w ostatnią niedzielę, kiedy to terroryści z ugrupowania Boko Haram podłożyli bomby przed kościołem w Jos, mordując kolejne 14 niewinnych osób.

Dziś Parlament Europejski musi jednoznacznie potępić islamski terroryzm oraz ataki na chrześcijan. Posłowie powinni przygotować ekspercki plan udzielania wsparcia władzom Nigerii w walce o powstrzymanie przelewu krwi i powtórne zjednoczenie kraju. Tego niewątpliwie dzisiaj brakuje – zdecydowanego potępienia islamskiego radykalizmu i zbrodni.

 
  
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  Gay Mitchell (PPE). - Mr President, the actions of the Boko Haram group are outrageous and fanatical acts of hatred for which there must be a commitment to judicial accountability. I would urge the High Representative to put in place now arrangements to ensure that they know that they will be called to account.

This group has been waging an insurgency against Nigeria’s Government since 2009 and has been blamed for hundreds of killings and gun and bomb attacks. In the past six months they have widened their targets beyond the police and other authority figures to include Christian worshippers. They have bombed churches in the cities of Jos and killed 185 people as we have heard.

In any society this is totally unacceptable. But I also want to raise the fact that Nigeria is the world’s eighth largest oil producer and yet the majority of its 145 million inhabitants live below the poverty line.

I believe this is something that the High Commission should be raising not just with the Nigerian Government but also with the producers and the developers of these oil products. We must go after those who are pursuing these heinous crimes but also try to bring some influence to bear on the oil producers at the same time.

 
  
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  Corina Crețu (S&D). - Ceea ce se întâmplă în Nigeria, instabilitatea, violența, extremismul, iar acum uciderea a doi cetățeni occidentali, reprezintă un puternic semnal de alarmă pe două planuri: în privința comunicării dintre țările Uniunii Europene și a propagării violenței confesionale pe continentul african. Cred că este cazul să devenim mult mai atenți la această regiune în care activează grupuri teroriste coordonate de Al Qaida.

Se impune și o preocupare mai serioasă pentru Nigeria, în ansamblul său. În cea mai populată țară a Africii, din 170 de milioane de locuitori 80 % se zbat în mizerie și sărăcie, deși țara în sine nu este săracă. Nigeria este al nouălea mare exportator de petrol din lume, dar, în același timp, este una dintre cele mai corupte și mai slab poziționate țări în clasificarea ONU privind indicele dezvoltării umane. De aceea, cred că trebuie să depășim stadiul minimal al monitorizării alegerilor în statele africane, altfel proasta guvernare, sărăcia și corupția vor alimenta în continuare instabilitatea și violența.

 
  
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  Alojz Peterle (PPE). - Lani sem imel v času volitev priliko podrobneje spoznati Nigerijo, ki jo imam za enega od ključnih partnerjev Evropske zveze.

Obžalujem, da po volitvah prihaja do nasilnih dejanj, ki destabilizirajo državo, še posebej razmah terorizma in nestrpnost do kristjanov. Prepričan sem, da odnos med kristjani in muslimani ni ključno notranjepolitično vprašanje Nigerije, in vem, da velika večina enih in drugih želi miroljuben, demokratičen in trajen razvoj Nigerije s polnim upoštevanjem notranje različnosti.

Za mirno in stabilno prihodnost Nigerije je potrebno predvsem troje: izboljšati kvaliteto vladanja v duhu socialne pravičnosti, spoštovanje različnih identitet in enakomernega razvoja države. Sistematično in dinamično se je treba lotiti virov konfliktnega razvoja. S skupnimi močmi je potrebno preprečiti terorizem oziroma nasilno uveljavljanje politične volje.

Predlagam, da Evropska zveza v tem duhu okrepi sodelovanje z Nigerijo in da bolj razvijemo tudi parlamentarno razsežnost političnega sodelovanja.

Dovolite, da ob koncu pozdravim med nami njegovo ekscelenco veleposlanika Nigerije gospoda Barayo, ki prisostvuje naši razpravi.

 
  
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  Michèle Striffler (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, notre parlement doit condamner avec vigueur les violences récentes au Nigeria, notamment les attentats terroristes perpétrés par la secte islamiste Boko Haram. La pauvreté extrême, la corruption endémique, la mauvaise gouvernance ont créé un environnement propice aux groupes extrémistes et leur permet de recruter très facilement auprès des jeunes Nigérians au chômage.

Le gouvernement nigérian doit prendre sans délai des mesures efficaces pour protéger ses citoyens et mettre un terme à la corruption généralisée et à l'impunité, et l'Union européenne doit aider le gouvernement dans ses efforts. Je crois aussi qu'il faut éviter d'avancer des explications vagues et simplistes au conflit, fondées sur la seule religion, mais qu'il faut s'attaquer aux causes profondes des tensions au Nigeria qui sont également d'ordre économique et social.

Le Nigeria est le plus grand producteur de pétrole brut d'Afrique mais cette richesse est malheureusement très mal gérée. De plus, les autorités nigérianes, mais aussi les sociétés pétrolières multinationales, doivent mettre un terme rapidement à la contamination actuelle et s'attaquer aux dommages que la pollution pétrolière cause à l'environnement et qui est particulièrement nuisible à la population locale.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). - De mai multe luni încoace, veștile care ne sosesc din Nigeria sunt preocupante. Acțiunile grupului terorist Boko Haram au devenit tot mai violente. Astfel, în noiembrie 2011, 65 de persoane au murit într-o serie de atentate la Damaturu; în ziua Crăciunului, 44 de persoane au pierit în atentatul comis în fața bisericii Sainte-Thérèse din Abuja. Atentatele de vineri seară de la Kano, din nordul acestei țări, ce au condus la moartea a cel puțin 185 de persoane, sunt unul dintre cele mai barbare acte de până acum revendicate de Boko Haram.

Nigeria este, pe de altă parte, așa cum se știe, de zeci de ani, teatrul unor confruntări între creștini și musulmani. Agravarea situației de securitate este, însă, în această clipă evidentă și nu cred că mai poate fi ignorată. Acțiunile grupării Boko Haram amenință echilibrul întregii țări și nu puține sunt vocile care se întreabă chiar dacă, în acest moment, Nigeria nu este pe punctul de a dispărea. Susținerea noastră este, deci, mai mult ca niciodată, necesară pentru instaurarea unui climat de toleranță și respect față de libertatea de religie din Nigeria.

În fine, aș dori să atrag atenția asupra punctului 7 al rezoluției noastre comune: Boko Haram amenință nu numai Nigeria, ci întreaga regiune, datorită conexiunilor potențiale cu AQMI. Trebuie, deci, să încurajăm eforturile regionale care au ca scop prevenirea sinergiilor dintre Boko Haram și AQMI.

 
  
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  Bogusław Sonik (PPE). - Przemoc na tle religijnym i etnicznym pochłonęła w ciągu ostatnich dziesiąci lat w Nigerii tysiące ofiar. Od 2009 r. obserwujemy wyraźną eskalację związaną z działalnością skrajnie islamskiej sekty, która była tu wielokrotnie nazywana. Od lipca 2009 r. zorganizowała ona 160 zamachów bombowych wymierzonych w chrześcijan, zabijając ponad 900 osób, z czego 44 w Boże Narodzenie tego roku. Sekta dąży do wprowadzenia szariatu we wszystkich 36 stanach Nigerii. Ogłosiła wobec chrześcijan wojnę religijną i grozi wypędzeniem ich z północy kraju. Chrześcijanie stają się tym samym jedną z najbardziej prześladowanych grup religijnych. W rejonie Bliskiego Wschodu istnieje już ryzyko zaniku wspólnot chrześcijańskich, co może przełożyć się na falę migracji do Europy.

Sytuację w Nigerii charakteryzuje niestabilność polityczna i korupcja, które doprowadziły do skrajnie nierównomiernej dystrybucji dóbr. W drugim co do wartości PKB kraju afrykańskim, będącym ważnym dostarczycielem ropy naftowej dla Europy, ogromny procent populacji żyje w nędzy, mając na swoje utrzymanie zaledwie dwa dolary dziennie. Tworzy to podstawy do rozwoju fanatyzmu religijnego. Unia Europejska powinna dążyć do wzmocnienia dialogu z rządem Nigerii, aby ten zapewnił porządek publiczny i sprawiedliwość.

 
  
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  Alf Svensson (PPE). - Herr talman! Den danske ministern sa i sitt korta avslutningsanförande att Nigeria har duktiga politiska ledare. Det är möjligt att det är så, men det är ju ändå bedrövligt att ett oljerikt land som Nigeria ska vara så genomkorrupt och att fattigdomen ska vara så påfallande för den stora mängden människor i ett rikt oljeland som Nigeria.

Situationen mellan muslimer och kristna har lyfts fram här i debatten. Att den är förödande och skräckinjagande kan ingen komma ifrån. Nu är det ju så att EU ger ett antal miljoner euro under en femårsperiod – närmare 680. Det är klart att vi förväntar oss att det i samband med detta biståndsgivande ställs resoluta krav – det jag också övertygad om att kommissionären gör – på mänskliga fri- och rättigheter. Jag tror att man specifikt måste betona just religionsfrihet, därför att begreppet mänskliga fri- och rättigheter kan uppfattas som lite ”gränslöst”. I Nigeria, och inte enbart i Nigeria, handlar det just om religionsfrihet. Det är inte enbart den grupp som har omnämnts här flera gånger som vi kan vända oss till, utan just till regeringen. Vi kan inte vara nöjda med att enbart ta avstånd, som det har sagts här, utan vi måste också ställa krav. Att Nigeria är ett folkrikt land och spelar, och vill spela, en stor roll i Afrika känner vi till. Det kan landet säkert också göra, men det krävs någonting mer av den egna regeringen.

 
  
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  Peter Šťastný (PPE). - Mr President, we all condemn the terrorist attacks conducted by the Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram, on civilian – predominantly Christian – targets. The two attacks in December and January left Nigeria with over 200 dead and increasing tensions between the Christian south and Muslim north. Such tensions inside a country prevent the implementation of much-needed structural reforms. They also halt the long-term efforts of the EU to achieve economic, financial, social and political developments, and they destabilise the whole region because of Nigeria’s importance and status in it.

Solutions are not simple, and we have to realise that ethnic and religious conflicts are deeply rooted in Nigeria’s history. The government must address the long-term causes of these religious tensions, such as under-development, poverty, unemployment, corruption, access to drinking water, etc. The EU is helping in all these issues, but we must exert more pressure on the government to enforce the rule of law and severely punish the perpetrators of these crimes.

Regional development and the strong rule of law will be able to prevent the radical groups from operating. It is the stability, security and development programmes that turn people away from radicalism, ethnic and religious hatred.

 
  
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  Sari Essayah (PPE). - Arvoisa puhemies, Nigeria on maailman ainoa maa, jossa on yhtä paljon muslimeja ja kristittyjä. Sen suurimpia poliittisia haasteita on tällä hetkellä säilyttää maan yhtenäisyys ja torjua terrorismi.

Viime kuukausina ääri-islamilainen Boko Haram -liike on tehnyt väkivaltaisia siviileihin, hallintorakennuksiin ja kirkkoihin kohdistuneita pommi-iskuja. Joulumessun aikana kirkkoon kohdistettu isku on käsittämättömän julma terroriteko. Kristittyihin kohdistuvien väkivaltaisten iskujen tarkoituksena on kiristää muslimien ja kristittyjen välejä sekä saada Nigerian nykyjohto näyttämään kyvyttömältä maan yhtenäisyyden ja turvallisuuden säilyttämiseksi. Pohjoisen muslimisotilasjohtaja Muhammadu Buhari onkin noussut näyttävästi arvostelemaan presidentti Goodluck Jonathanin hallituksen toimia tehottomiksi turvallisuustilanteen kohentamisessa.

Maaperä on nyt otollinen uskonnollisille kansankiihottajille. Valtavat työttömät syrjäytyneet nuorisojoukot Pohjois-Nigeriassa on helppo saada mukaan väkivaltaiseen ääri-islamilaiseen toimintaan kristittyjä ja myös länsimaisia arvoja vastaan. Boko Haramilla uskotaan olevan myös yhteyksiä Al-Qaidaan. Turvallisuustilanteeseen vaikuttavat myös Pohjois-Afrikasta, Mauritaniasta, Tšadista ja Libyasta työttömäksi palaavat taistelijat ja laittomat aseet, jotka virtaavat tuolta alueelta. Nigerian johto tarvitsee tällä hetkellä tukea taistelussaan terrorismia vastaan ja maan olojen vakauttamiseksi.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). - Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, Kolleginnen und Kollegen, ich glaube, dass wir da zwei Dinge zusammen sehen müssen. Das eine ist die Situation in Nigeria einem Land, das mit den AKP zu tun hat, einem Land, mit dem wir gute Beziehungen haben. Herr Kommissar, sie wissen besser als ich, in welcher Weise auch hier Hilfe geleistet wird, und dass wir darauf achten müssen, dass die Regierung ja eigentlich ein reiches Land hat, aufgrund der Rohstoffvorkommen, die es in der Tat, wie es der Kollege Šťastný gesagt hat, auch für bessere soziale Lebensbedingungen zu nutzen gilt.

Zum Zweiten müssen wir sehen, dass Boko Haram in einer Art und Weise argumentiert und handelt, die auch von anderen islamischen Gruppen oder Staaten bei der Verfolgung von Christen praktiziert wird. Fünfundsiebzig Prozent aller Verfolgungen von Menschen aufgrund religiöser Überzeugung sind gegenwärtig Verfolgungen von Christen. Man muss feststellen, dass hier auch die gesamte islamische Welt – auch die Vertreter des islamischen Glaubens, obwohl sie keine zentralen Einrichtungen haben – aufgefordert ist, endlich gegen solche Gewalttaten vorzugehen und sich davon deutlich zu distanzieren. Ich glaube, das ist der einzige Weg.

Wir haben Sorgen in Syrien, wir haben Sorgen in Ägypten und in ähnlichen Bereichen, und wir kennen die Resultate beispielsweise aus dem Irak. Und ich meine, dass es aus diesem Grunde eine wichtige Angelegenheit ist, dass der Auswärtige Dienst hierzu einen Menschenrechtssonderbeauftragten ernennen will und hierbei auch insbesondere die Abteilungen vertreten sein müssen, die sich mit der Verfolgung von Christen beschäftigen. Dies ist kein Alleinstellungsmerkmal für Christen, sondern wir müssen sehen, dass das für alle religiösen Überzeugungen gilt, die erlaubt sein müssen und nicht verfolgt werden dürfen, aber wir sollten auch die Möglichkeit haben, als Europa, das auf dem Christentum beruht, deutlich beim Namen zu nennen, dass Christen nicht verfolgt werden dürfen.

 
  
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  Konrad Szymański (ECR). - Proszę Państwa! Nigeria jest dzisiaj kolejnym krajem, któremu wojownicza część islamu chce narzucić siłą prawo religijne. Pierwszą ofiarą są żyjący tam chrześcijanie. Północ Nigerii jest miejscem czystek religijnych, ofiarą napaści i morderstw są dziś tysiące Nigeryjczyków. Wprowadzanie w kolejnych stanach prawa szariatu skutkuje nie tylko wrogością, ale też dyskryminacją chrześcijan w dostępie do szkolnictwa, do pracy, do praktyk religijnych.

Europa nie może przechodzić obojętnie obok tych wypadków, które są zapowiedzią prawdziwej tragedii. Nasza dyplomacja, dyplomacja krajów członkowskich musi zrobić wszystko, by uchronić Nigerię od rosnącej wrogości na tle religijnym. Na podstawie porozumienia z Kotonu musimy zintensyfikować dialog oraz presję polityczną, by nikt w Nigerii nie sądził, że przestępstwa przeciwko mniejszościom i wolności religijnej pozostaną bezkarne.

 
  
 

„Catch the eye“-Verfahren

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI). - Mr President, Nigeria is still a recipient of aid after 50 years of independence. It suffers from a lack of economic development and the majority of its inhabitants live below the poverty line.

Is Nigeria so poor because it lacks resources? No. It is the world’s eighth largest oil producer. This really is a puzzle. Nigeria is suffering from civil strife, a euphemism for Islamist violence against native Christians and Europeans working to industrialise the country out of poverty.

What can have caused these problems? It cannot, of course, be because of the nature of Islam or of course anything to do with ethnicity. These must be ‘no-go areas’ of course.

A Nigerian I once knew well blamed it on the colonialists, who drew straight lines on the map and included incompatible peoples arbitrarily in the same political state. This undoubtedly contributed to one war, the Biafran Secession in 1967. Of course, we Europeans would not make the same mistake would we? We would not dream of filling up the states of Europe with incompatible peoples. Well, would we? Of course we would not…!

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - Știrile despre Nigeria apărute în ultima vreme relatează, aproape în totalitate, incidente violente. Este un fapt îngrijorător, cu atât mai mult cu cât se constată creșterea extremismului religios, care alimentează un număr foarte important de atacuri. Întrebarea este ce poate fi făcut acum pentru a evita agravarea acestei situații. Consecințele ar fi dezastruoase într-o țară cu peste 170 de milioane de locuitori, 250 de grupuri etnice și procente din populație de 50 % musulmani, respectiv 40 % creștini. Tensiunile dintre diferite comunități se suprapun unui context economic foarte dificil: 85 % din populație trăiește cu mai puțin de doi dolari pe zi, deși Nigeria are rezerve importante de petrol.

Aș fi dorit ca Înaltul Reprezentant să ne prezinte propuneri pentru o contribuție mai activă a Uniunii la promovarea unui climat pașnic și stabil în Nigeria, dacă ar fi fost prezentă.

 
  
 

Ende des „Catch the eye“-Verfahrens

 
  
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  Andris Piebalgs, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, I believe that today’s debate again demonstrated the Parliament’s strong engagement in supporting human rights and fighting against terrorism. We look forward to the Parliament’s continued support for the European Union’s growing engagement with Nigeria. We will increase our contacts and cooperation with Nigeria, which is at a crucial juncture in its history. It faces serious problems but there are also a lot of opportunities.

What can the Commission do in response to the troubles faced by Nigeria? Today we are supporting Nigeria with EUR 200 million in the Niger Delta programme which is our support for fragile peace in the Delta. We are also considering how to support the northern Nigeria programme, where there are many development challenges. Just to mention one, education: northern Nigeria has some of the worst education indicators in the world with only 74% attending school and only about 5% finishing a full primary cycle. In effect, Boko Haram is deliberately depriving Nigerian children of the opportunity to better themselves, help their families and communities and find a way out of poverty. This means that engagement with Nigeria should be crucial.

The European Union regularly raises issues about religious freedoms with Nigeria in the context of the human rights dialogue. The rights of Christians should not be seen independently from the rights of Muslims in the country. I believe that this dialogue on human rights will be strengthened in the future. The High Representative has already engaged a great deal and she has a couple of new proposals that were discussed during the informal meetings with Foreign Affairs Ministers held last week in Denmark.

How can the European Union help Nigeria against Boko Haram? Following the ministerial meeting between the European Union and Nigeria we have started to work on the package of support for Nigeria’s counter-terrorist methods. This will be additional to, and complementary with, the EU Member States’ action. It will focus on the root causes of radicalisation, especially poverty, marginalisation in society and lack of jobs. It will also have a dimension of justice and the rule of law. Nigeria is defining its own counter-terrorism strategy, which the EU will support fully, in accordance with human rights issues.

On the killing of two European hostages, I would just repeat the High Representative’s statement of 9 March: ‘I want to express my condolences to both families of the hostages in Nigeria for the tragic loss. We condemn in the strongest possible terms criminal actions like the taking of hostages. Perpetrators must be brought to justice and held accountable for their crimes.’

The last point I would like to emphasise concerns oil revenues. I believe that the Commission has now made a proposal for more transparency on the reporting of profits from natural wealth by the companies. I very much hope that this House will support these measures because we clearly understand that fighting against poverty also requires that all companies engage fully and transparently to report on the profits in a particular country.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. − Zum Abschluss der Aussprache wurden gemäß Artikel 110 Absatz 2 der Geschäftsordnung sieben Entschließungsanträge eingereicht.

Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Donnerstag, 15. März, um 12.00 Uhr statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 149 GO)

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE), in writing. The clashes in Nigeria have been in the news during the recent months, yet we practically lack feedback from HR/VP on these alarming developments. Now the EP is coming forward with its resolution on the social unrest and religiously motivated persecution of Christians in Nigeria. EP has repeatedly called on the EEAS to mainstream the aspect of freedom of religion and belief in its human rights dialogue with third countries and to train its staff on this. Religiously motivated intolerance in the world is on the rise and EU has to step up its efforts to tackle this issue sooner rather than later. I call on the EU together with UN to contribute to a peaceful settlement between the religious communities in Nigeria. It is our common interests to stop the spreading of violence towards Christian communities. Nigeria is among resource richest countries in Africa with significant economic growth, but also among the most corrupt. The EU must in its relations with Nigeria seriously push for social and economic reforms that would channel the revenues from oil industry for education and economic and social development, instead of re-distributing them among the elites. This will be the best way to avoid further clashes between religious communities.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR). - The recent attacks on Christians in Nigeria come amid worsening religious and ethnic tensions leading to deterioration in the precarious human rights situation in the country. I utterly condemn the suicide bombing of a service at St. Finbar’s Church in Jos on 11 March which killed at least four people. My sympathies are with the families of the dead and wounded and I call upon the Nigerian Federal and State governments to bring those behind the bombing to justice while doing more to protect vulnerable communities, especially Christians, in northern and central parts of the country. The EU must support stability in Nigeria. However, Nigeria must demonstrate its willingness to end religious strife as well as re-commit itself to guaranteeing basic human rights including freedom of religion. The Nigerian government must intervene in cases of those tried under Sharia law, especially those sentenced to death, amputation, flogging or other inhuman treatments. I am particularly concerned about women who are being lashed for committing adultery, especially in instances of rape. Nigeria must also show respect for the rights of its LGBT community and reconsider legislation criminalising homosexuality, which under Sharia law in the north is punishable by stoning to death.

 
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