As a Nigerian violence cascade, advocates petition Biden


A group of human rights observers urged President Biden to revive Nigeria as a “specific concern” for serious human rights abuses within its territory.

The Department of State assigned this label to Nigeria a year ago, but it was revoked on November 18, just before Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Nigeria.

The Family Research Council and 11 other nonprofits are calling on the White House to turn around, given the deteriorating situation for Christians and vulnerable Muslims in Nigeria’s most populous country.

“We urgently urge the Biden administration to redesignate Nigeria as a specific country of concern (CPC) for religious freedom,” according to a letter sent to the White House on December 7.

The letter further states: “For years, the Nigerian government has done virtually nothing to stop this violence. In order for Nigeria to be removed from the main list of certain countries of concern, it protects the religious community from attacks and all. It should have made substantial progress in confirming the right of people to practice their faith freely.

“This did not happen, and the removal of Nigeria’s CPC designation was unjustified and sent a false message to governments around the world who were involved in or tolerated a terrible violation of religious freedom,” the letter said. ..

Since 2009, Nigeria has fought two types of violence that have claimed the lives of more than 60,000 people, according to the Nigeria International Commission.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is associated with the rebellion known as the Islamic State of West Africa and its predecessor group, Boko Haram, in the northeastern part of the country. At the same time, radical bandits worked in the north-central and northwestern parts of Nigeria, and in the area known as the median strip, killing thousands of unarmed Christian peasants. Over the last two years, bandits have become a more deadly threat.

On Monday, a large gang in northern Sokoto bombed civilians on a bus, killing 29 people, including many women and children. All are Muslims. Bandits reportedly attacked and annexed 380 villages in the median strip in recent years. The majority were occupied by exiled Christian indigenous peoples.

As criminal organizations began to form in Zamfala in 2012 and have grown in size and threatened in recent years, as many as 10,000 armed groups fear civilians, according to historian Murtala Ahmed Rufa’i. I’m trapped. An expert at Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto.

The Islamic rebellion and anti-Christian thieves have a common purpose, according to war correspondent Lara Logan, who aired a Foxnation documentary on Nigeria’s terrorism on September 27.

The letter asks, “Why was Nigeria’s CPC designation withdrawn without public explanation less than a year after its important designation?”

“Continuous violence, killings and evacuation against Christians and others are only increasing. In fact, during 2021, slaughter occurs almost every night, but during the day, young boys are killed in the fields. Pregnant women are brutally dismantled, babies are severed in front of them, and now the entire congregation of the church is kidnapped and captured. “

A coalition letter to Biden argued that terrorism could be mitigated by removing the CPC designation from Nigeria. “We recommend that Nigeria be immediately redesignated as a country of particular concern, otherwise the Government of Nigeria tolerates a terrible, systematic and ongoing violation of religious freedom, and it It rewards the engagement and sends the militants a message that their actions will not be punished, “the letter said.

“We are deeply concerned that the United States has removed Nigeria from the list of certain countries of concern, and we need to address this,” Baroness Carol Cox told The Epoch Times. Baronescox, the founder of the UK-based Humanitarian Relief Fund (HART), is one of the 30 signatories to this letter. “Murder and rape are still going on, and we need to act to protect the Nigerian people from this violence,” Cox said.

Blinken announced a $ 2 billion aid package to help Nigeria during his stay in Abuja and talked with a small group of civil society representatives for 45 minutes.

The small group’s involvement included a hearing from Rev. Joseph Hayab, a spokesman for the Christian community in Kaduna. However, Blinken did not mention human rights as a concern during his stop, except when asked directly about human rights in an interview with Channels TV. Christian genocide. “

Douglas Barton


Douglas Burton is a former US State Department employee stationed in Kirkuk, Iraq.He writes news and commentary from Washington DC