Parliamentary Replies from the UK Government following the publication of the recent report on Nigeria (“An Unfolding Genocide?”) by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief 

Jun 30, 2020 | Uncategorized

Parliamentary Replies from the UK Government following the publication of the recent report on Nigeria (“An Unfolding Genocide?“)by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief

 

Baroness Sugg, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5821):

Question  from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what financial, technical and capacity building support they intend to offer to the government of Nigeria to implement the recommendations of the report by the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide, published on 15 June. (HL5821)

Tabled on: 17 June 2020

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide, published on 15 June. (HL5819)
    Tabled on: 17 June 2020

Answer:
Baroness Sugg:

We welcome the APPG’s report and the detailed analysis it provides on the complex issues of intercommunal violence across multiple states of Nigeria and acts of terrorism committed by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa in North East Nigeria. The UK Government strongly condemns all acts of violence in Nigeria. We are considering the report and its recommendations in detail and the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, will provide a full response in due course.

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Baroness Sugg, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5822):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Nigeria about violence in the Nigerian Middle-Belt involving farmers and herders. (HL5822)

Tabled on: 17 June 2020

Answer:
Baroness Sugg:

Intercommunal violence across multiple states in Nigeria has had a devastating impact on all communities. The UK Government has engaged closely with the federal government, state government, international partners and the National Economic Council to help address the drivers of intercommunal violence and push for solutions. UK officials discussed the issue in detail with the former Chief of Staff to the Nigerian President in January.

The FCO and Wilton Park hosted a joint conference on ‘Fostering Social Cohesion in Nigeria’ in February. Attendees included representatives of the Nigerian Government. The discussion focused on the complex causes of conflict and explored solutions. A full report from the conference has been published. The British High Commissioner and her team are increasing their engagement with state governors in affected states. For example, a team visited Plateau State in December to discuss the situation with the Governor, Christian and Muslim faith leaders and to meet organisations working on reconciliation.

Date and time of answer: 30 Jun 2020 at 13:24.

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Baroness Sugg, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5823):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Nigeria about the investigation of cases of reported military complicity in violence against Christians and other human rights abuses. (HL5823)

Tabled on: 17 June 2020

Answer:
Baroness Sugg:

The UK is firmly committed to promoting and protecting human rights around the world. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians, including all ethnic and religious groups, and human rights for all Nigerians. We are aware that communities of all faiths have made allegations of military complicity in some incidences of violence. We call for all allegations of human rights abuses or excessive use of force to be investigated and those responsible to be held to account.

Following allegations of human rights abuses made against Nigerian military detention facilities in Amnesty International’s recent report, ‘We Dried our Tears’, the British High Commissioner raised the report with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and called for a full investigation into the allegations and prosecution of any individuals found to have committed abuses. We reiterate that the UK Government does not provide any support to the military detention facilities mentioned.

Date and time of answer: 30 Jun 2020 at 13:23.

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Baroness Sugg, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5824):

 

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to introduce mandatory training for Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff in Nigeria on (1) identifying patterns of discrimination and conflict with religious characteristics, and (2) the interaction of religion and religious actors with specific societal and conflict contexts. (HL5824)

Tabled on: 17 June 2020

Answer:
Baroness Sugg:

Our staff are encouraged to develop an understanding of religion and its role within society, including in conflict situations and in countries like Nigeria where religion is important to most people’s identity. Specific training on religion is available to all staff through the FCO’s Diplomatic Academy. In addition, our Nigerian local staff provide first-hand insight into the role of religion and religious actors within Nigerian society, including conflicts affecting the country. We also use expertise from the FCO’s Africa Research Group and conflict-prevention experts.

We are now working on an enhanced training offer related to religion as part of our commitment to implement the recommendations made in the Bishop of Truro’s independent review. This work is being led by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Rehman Chishti MP.

Date and time of answer: 29 Jun 2020 at 14:47.

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Baroness Sugg, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5820):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they plan to have with the government of Nigeria about the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan to help reduce the conflict involving farmers and herders in Nigeria. (HL5820)

Tabled on: 17 June 2020

Answer:
Baroness Sugg:

The UK worked closely with international partners to provide technical support to the Vice President’s office to develop the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP). The NLTP sets out a long-term approach to transition towards more sedentary forms of cattle-rearing and explicitly addresses some of the factors underpinning intercommunal violence. The plan is being implemented in eight Middle Belt states. A number of other states have expressed interest and we are encouraging their adoption of the plan. The High Commission will continue to encourage adoption of the NLTP in discussions at all levels of the Nigerian Government, including with state governments.

Date and time of answer: 29 Jun 2020 at 14:46.

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