To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) reports that Islamist Fulani militia continue to perpetrate massacres and kidnapping in Nigeria, and (2) the designation of Nigeria as a country of particular concern by the US International Religious Freedom Act; and what steps they have taken in response. Asked 7 June 2021
Answered 21 June 2021 By Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative, Life peer)
The UK Government condemns all incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria, which have had devastating effects on communities of different faiths and ethnicities. It is inaccurate to attribute sole responsibility to one ethnic group, the Fulani, and terms like militia risk fuelling tensions between communities. During the Minister for Africa's visit to Nigeria in April, he raised the importance of protecting all communities. We are working with our partners in Nigeria to promote intercommunal and interfaith dialogue, and continue to call for solutions that address the underlying causes of conflict.
We also condemn kidnaps in Nigeria, including the recent kidnaps and killings of students in Northern Nigeria. Those responsible must be held to account. We have provided mentoring and capacity building support to Nigerian Police Force units to improve their anti-kidnap capacity, to help reduce harm to victims and hold those responsible to account.
The decision by the United States to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern for Religious Freedom is a matter for the United States government. The UK is committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief around the world. We are a strong voice internationally in defense of this fundamental right and promoting respect between communities of different religions and those of no religion.
Original Source UIN HL728
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