Zovko: “We should not be ashamed to call a crime by its name.”
Strasbourg, 16 January 2020
Following the recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria, the European Parliament strongly condemns the repeated violations of human rights and international and humanitarian law. Violent extremists and jihadist groups such as Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorize the country and attack the Christian population. Željana Zovko pointed out that more than 6000 Christians have been murdered since 2015 by jihadist groups.
“The latest reports date from last week, 8th of January and also at the end of December, we witnessed several attacks on Christian villages causing the death for over 30 people. The responsibility for these actions has been claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province as a retaliation for the death of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria.”
MEPs urge the Nigerian authorities to guarantee respect for human rights and to protect the civilian population from terrorism and violence. The fight against impunity is fundamental to the stability of the country and to building lasting peace.
Zovko: “It is time that the international community recognizes the persecution of Christians around the world. Africa is a very religious continent and it happens too often that misconceptions about other religions are used to instigate hate and terror. The European Union should use its financial instruments to invest in the development of the region, leading to the protection of religious miniorities.”
Zovko also called upon the European Union to strengthen the notion of interreligious dialogue within the official diplomatic channels towards third countries.
“We should not be ashamed to call a crime by its name.”