Nigerian Christians face genocide says Law body
The European Center for Law and Justice has called on the the United Nations Special Adviser Adama Dieng, Special adviser to the Secretary General on Prevention of Genocide take “appropriate action” against the targeting and killing of Christians in northern Nigeria by the radical Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram and Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen.
In the letter, the European Centre for Law and Justice said it was making this request on behalf of more than 752,000 people from 191 nations and territories.
The letter said “Christians are increasingly the targets of religiously motivated violence, and immediate action must be taken to ensure that their plight does not rise to the level of their fellow Christians who have suffered so greatly in Iraq and Syria,” Jordan Sekulow, the Executive Director and Robert W. Ash, the Special Counsel said.
The letter pleaded with the United Nations to engage the Nigerian government to stop the killing of Christians “who are experiencing horrific atrocities at the hands of Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen.”
The letter reiterated the statistics that showed “that since May of 2011 Boko Haram has killed more than 37,500 people, displaced 2.4 million, and created 228,000 refugees. Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS and utilizes its tactics of mass killings and kidnapping to in-still fear and to intimidate. They target Christians and anyone else whom they see as a threat to the establishment of an Islamic State,” the organisation said.
The letter said “reports indicate that since 2013 Boko Haram has abducted approximately 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria. These attacks and kidnappings have been carried out when children are at school and should feel safe. However, it is estimated that Boko Haram has killed over 2,000 teachers and destroyed more than 1,400 schools.”
The Law and Justice organisation raised the issue of the continuous detention of Leah Sharibu, the only Christian girl abducted by Boko Haram Islamists and will not release her, even when ransom was paid, because she is a Christian. It also pointed out other atrocities against Christian by Fulani herdsman who have continued to attack “Christian farmers, destroying homes, churches, and even kidnapping Christian school girls in order to marry them to Muslim men.”
Making the case that the “horrific acts of aggression are violating the peaceful lives of Christians in Nigeria,” the letter asked the UN speak out and called on the adviser to the Secretary General to act “In order to prevent further loss of life, avoid a massive humanitarian crisis, and end increasing religiously motivated violence.”
The Law and Justice body said the “the U.N. Charter calls on the U.N. to remove threats to peace, and the Genocide Convention calls on the U.N. to prevent acts of genocide, not merely to respond to genocide,” and demanded that “action must be taken to not only stop the spread of violence and ‘prevent … genocide’ against Christians within Nigeria, but also the spread of such violence throughout Sub-Saharan Africa,” pointing to the fact that Boko Haram has carried out attacks in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.
Image Credits: Google Images/Boko Haram from propaganda vidoe/Fulani herdsmen and Church pictures-Author