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Christian Foundation Urges UN to Focus Attention on Nigeria’s Deteriorating Security

Credit: CSW

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an international human rights body that advocates for religious freedom, is calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to be attentive to the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria where Islamist groups are reportedly persecuting Christians.

In her oral statement at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council scheduled to end on October 8, CSW’s Ellis Heasley noted that the Christian foundation was “perturbed” by the international silence on the situation in Nigeria, which she said was deteriorating by the day.

“CSW wishes to bring to the Council’s attention the relentless nationwide deterioration in security in Nigeria. We are perturbed by governmental nonchalance and international indifference in the face of unabated deadly attacks by resurgent terrorists and diverse armed gangs primarily of Fulani origin,” Ms. Heasley said in her statement shared on Friday, September 24.

The CSW official noted that predominantly Christian ethnic minorities in Central Nigeria have endured lethal violence and abductions since 2010 and that the violence has now spread Southwards.

The official said that in Southern Kaduna State, the attacks have displaced at least 143 communities and over 160,000 persons, while IDPs in Benue State are now at least 1.6 million.

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Additionally, Boko Haram has extended its operations through alliances with armed gangs in the Northwest, who largely terrorize Hausa Muslim communities, Ms. Heasley said, adding that the insurgent has already raised its flag in a part of Niger State two hours away from the capital, Abuja, and sent fighters to a Southern Kaduna forest.

“We urge Nigeria to address every source of violence decisively and impartially, protect vulnerable communities regardless of creed or ethnicity, and respect civic space,” the CSW official says, and adds, “We call on Member States to support local and regional stability, and assist all IDPs and with the rebuilding institutional resilience.”

The 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council has been running from September 13 and is considering various issues including intimidation and reprisals, arbitrary detention, racism, enforced disappearances, climate change, and the right to a healthy environment, water and sanitation, and the rights of indigenous peoples and people of African descent, among others.

The session is also expected to present an opportunity for addressing grave human rights situations in States including Afghanistan, Burundi, China, Ethiopia, Libya, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Syria, and Venezuela, among many others.