Some United Kingdom lawmakers in the House of Lord have written the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC, over widespread violence in Nigeria.
The lawmakers from the upper house who signed the letter include Caroline Cox, David Alton, Jin Shannon and Helena Kennedy, said thousands of civilians in the country had been killed and elements of the Nigerian Government may be complicit in the violence.
Others, who signed the letter, are Lord Williams, Lord Carey, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Phillip Mounstephen, Lord Stoddart, Lord Anderson, Lord Cormack.
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Ayo Adedoin, Ewelina Ochab, Mervyn Thomas, Dr Khataza Gondwe, Nevile Kyrte-Smith, Dr John Eibiner and Ann Buwalda.
They sought intervention on the killings in Nigeria, highlighting the helplessness of the current administration.
letter reads, “We write to highlight urgent concerns about escalating violence in Nigeria where attacks led by Boko Haram, Fulani herders and other Islamic militia continue in Northern and central-belt states with reports of increasing violence in the South-East.
“According to a report by the UK All-Party Parliament Group for international Freedom of Religion or Belief, thousands of civilians have been killed and elements of the Nigeria Government may be complicit in violence.
“The APPG’s concern reflects the findings of a report by Amnesty International, which concludes that the Nigerian armed forces have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during their operations.
“The Nigerian former army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma, whom some of us have met and spoken to, says the armed forces are “not neutral, they collude” in the “ethnic cleansing” by Fulani herders. He insists that villagers must defend themselves because “depending on the armed forces” will result in them dying” one by one. The ethnic cleansing must stop.
“The state’s failure to protect its citizens is a clear breach of its obligations under the commonwealth charter in respect of human rights. There is now an urgent need (a) to ensure adequate protection and aid for those suffering the loss of family members and destruction of their homes and livelihood and (b) to end impunity by ensuring that complaints related to human rights violations are promptly, inadequate and impartially investigated, and those responsible are held to account after fair trials.
“We write therefore, to ask whether you are able to respond on behalf of The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. We should be very willing to meet in person (or perhaps more practically, online via Zoom) to discuss how we might proceed.”