Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has welcomed news that a resolution strongly condemning the mass atrocities in Jos, Nigeria, has been adopted by the European Parliament.
The cross-party group resolution, which was signed by Jean as a representative of the Verts/ALE Group, as well as representatives from the PPE Group, the S&D Group, the ALDE Group and the ECR Group, urged for all parties to exercise restrain and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria. The resolution was adopted by a show of hands during a vote at the European Parliament in Brussels last Thursday (07/05/10).
Jos lies at the crossroads between Nigeria’s Muslim north and Christian south and, according to human rights reports, more that 14,000 people have been killed in clashes since the end of military rule in 1999. Recent violence in March left 109 people, thought to be mostly Christian, dead. The bloodshed followed sectarian killings in January that left more than 300 dead, most of them thought to be Muslim.
Jean said: “I welcome news that this cross-party resolution has been adopted by the European Parliament. Atrocities such as these cannot go unnoticed by the European community at large.
“We are also concerned that there have been a number of reports of extrajudicial killings by the military and the police. We call on the Nigerian Federal Government to carry out an investigation into the cause of the most recent violence, to ensure the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice and to take concrete and urgent measures to support inter-ethnic and inter-faith dialogue.
“In addition, while this terrible sectarian violence is rooted in decades of resentment between the two vying communities, we must also recognise the role of climate change, which has dried up pasture lands forcing aggressive competition over the use of arable land between the traditionally Christian farmers and Muslim herders. Once again, this is a clear sign that we cannot ignore the devastating impact of climate change and must act now for the sake of our future.”
Note to Editors
1] To read the resolution in full visit:
2] Jean Lambert is one of eight MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009.