Trump Administration Welcome’s Designate Of Nigeria As A Country Of Concern.
President Donald John Trump’s administration for the very first time, recently designated Nigeria as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC), for violations of religious freedom, one of the ten highlighted by the United States Department, for failing to stem the persecution and discrimination of faith groups.
Nigeria is the first democracy to be labeled a CPC for “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom, a designation that opens it up to economic sanctions.
According to the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the West African nation and nine others were being singled out “for engaging in or tolerating ‘systematic, ongoing violations of religious freedom.’ ”
“The United States will continue to work tirelessly to end religiously motivated abuses and persecutions around the world and to help ensure that each person, everywhere, at all times, has the right to live according to the dictates of conscience,” Secretary Pompeo said in a statement.
The designation was welcomed by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bi-partisan federal entity that has recommended Nigeria’s inclusion on the CPC list since 2009, including in it’s most recent report released in the month of April.
“Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria remained poor in 2019, with both State and societal perpetrated violations,” USCRIF wrote in it’s 2020 report, highlighting widespread security issues contributing to both Christian and Muslim populations being opened to attacks of inter-communal and militia violence. “The Nigerian government failed to effectively improve justice and security for it’s citizens and was unsuccessful in addressing the immense need for accountability and reconciliation around past conflicts”.
Recall also that Jubilee Campaign on the 18th of November 2020, released a very horrific and terrifying report titled “ NIGERIA: THIS GENOCIDE IS LOADING. Finding a Reasonable Basis to Believe Crimes Against Humanity Occurred, A REPORT TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT “ about the violation of human rights since 2013 till 2020. According to them,
“Violence that has taken place in Nigeria’s Middle Belt is spiraling out of control, costing the lives of thousands of civilians and destabilizing the country and region. The violence is often characterized as an “inter-communal conflict” between herders and farmers over natural resources.
However, that well-worn label is now obsoleted due to the increasing asymmetry in attacks, as well as the steadily increasing frequency and organizational planning of Fulani militant attacks against civilian targets”. “Although it is inarguable that violence is being perpetrated by both party groups in the conflict and all perpetrators must be held accountable.
The evidence shows that rising radicalization and militancy among the Fulani group is associated with an increase in asymmetry and savagery of the violence perpetrated by Fulani militants in Nigeria. The sharp rise in attacks in recent years is uncharacterized of the historic herder-farmer tension that has characterized the region for decades and centuries”.
“Demonstrating the asymmetry in the attacks, Christian Solidarity Worldwide documented attacks that took place during the first quarter of 2018. There was a total of one hundred and six (106) attacks on farming communities in central Nigeria which caused the deaths of 1,061 civilians, while in Southern Nigeria, there were 11 attacks on farming communities with 21 lives lost.
Contrastingly, during that same time frame, there were 7 attacks recorded on Fulani communities or herders, 5 in the Central region and 2 in the South, with 61 lives lost. The loss of life on both sides is doubtlessly a tragedy that must be investigated by a commission of inquiry. However, the casualty asymmetry indicates that radical Fulani militants are far more often the aggressors.
It is essential to note that within this context, we recognize that religiously motivated violence in Nigeria cannot and will not be attributed to the entire Fulani ethnic community, as there are mostly peaceful and non-radical Fulani Muslims throughout West Africa. Our research and focus is specifically on the armed, violent, radical Fulani militant groups that have wreaked havoc on predominant Christian farming communities in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. Odogwublog.com
Jubilee Campaign joins other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) around the world in the continuing call for international efforts to end the violence in Nigeria and hold perpetrators to account. This is a massive humanitarian crisis that must be addressed”.
However, with all these reports, Nigeria supposed to have been designated as a “Country of Concern” (CPC) well before now.