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Nigeria: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL7425, tabled on 28 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the statement by the Rt Rev Abiodun Ogunyemi, the Anglican Bishop of Zaria, on 24 July, that the campaign against Christians in Nigeria is a “genocide”, and (2) the responsibilities of (a) the government of Kaduna State, (b) the government of Nigeria, and (c) the international community, under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention of Genocide; what plans they have to reassess the causes of the attacks against Christians in Nigeria; and whether any such plans will discount climate change as the major cause of such attacks.

Answered on

6 August 2020

We are aware of the statement made by the Right Reverend Abiodun Ogunyemion on 24 July. The UK Government condemns all incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria, including the recently reported attacks in Kaduna State referred to in the Bishop's statement. Intercommunal violence in Kaduna State and Nigeria more widely affects communities of all faiths. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians and human rights for all.

It is UK Government policy not to unilaterally determine whether genocide has occurred, in line with the Genocide Convention. This is a matter for competent courts and tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, after consideration of all the evidence, rather than governments or non-judicial bodies.

The UK Government's assessment remains that climate change is one of the drivers of intercommunal violence in Nigeria because of the resulting competition for natural resources. The Bishop of Truro also considered the effects of climate change on intercommunal violence in Nigeria in his independent report on the global persecution of Christians.