To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that militants from the Islamic State's West Africa Province abducted residents from Kukawa, Borno State, who had only recently returned home from refugee camps after local government officials claimed their town was safe; and what representations they have made to the government of Nigeria about the recent escalation of Islamist attacks in Nigeria’s northern and central-belt states.
15 September 2020
We are concerned by reports that civilians from the town of Kukawa, Borno State, North East Nigeria were abducted by Islamic State West Africa after recently returning to the town from internally displaced persons' camps. The High Commission in Abuja has raised our concerns with the Governor of Borno State. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities the importance of ensuring that returns take place in accordance with international guidelines, and have urged the UN and Borno State Government to re-convene the returns task force so the taskforce can advise on whether locations are safe for returns.
The UK Government condemns all abductions by terrorist groups in Nigeria, including Islamic State West Africa. We are providing a comprehensive package of security, recovery and stabilisation assistance to help Nigeria tackle the terrorist threat and provide humanitarian assistance to meet the lifesaving needs of vulnerable communities.
The UK Government also condemns all incidents of intercommunal violence that occur across many states in Nigeria, including some Northern and Middle Belt states. A wide range of perpetrators are responsible for these incidents, including individuals and groups from various backgrounds and a range of faiths. Intercommunal violence affects both Christian and Muslim communities; we do not assess religion to be the principal driver of most incidents. The underlying drivers of conflict are more complex and frequently relate to competition over resources and criminality. The Minister for Africa discussed intercommunal violence with the President's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari on 29 June.
We will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all Nigerians.