We Ask the United States Send a Special Envoy (Coordinator) to Nigeria & Lake Chad Basin
ICON is requesting that the United States government send a Special Envoy (Coordinator) to Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin. The specific purpose would promote, develop and coordinate an adequate response to the crises in Nigeria.
The nation of Nigeria is a strategic interest to the United States. Nigeria stands at the intersection of North Africa and Sub Saharan African. Of the top 25 most populous countries, Nigeria has the highest social hostilities around religion.1As Africa’s most populous state; it is also the largest economy in Africa and is influential in African politics and business. The current situation in Nigeria threatens to undermine its stability. This would result in decreased trade with Nigerian and U.S. companies, as well as start a mass influx of refugees escaping the violence. In short, it is vital U.S. economic, political, and national security to confront the issues that endanger Nigeria today.
While we were encouraged by President Trump’s comments regarding religious persecution and his meeting with two Nigerian Chibok girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the situation in Nigeria continues to deteriorate. Some Fulani militants, emboldened by the actions of Boko Haram, have begun using violent tactics against civilians. Although President Buhari has labeled some of these attacks as “terrorism”, overall, the Nigerian government’s response to the situation is too weak. The growing trend of violence we see in these attacks will destabilize the nation if we do not act soon.
Key Facts about the Current Situation in Nigeria:
- Nigeria is home to two of the top four sources of terror in the world, Boko Haram and the Fulani extremists.2
- Terror groups (Al-Qaeda & Islamic State) are radicalizing peaceful Fulani people (largest nomadic group in the world) in neighboring countries such as Mali3, which has already resulted in deaths of U.S. military.4
- Without increased security or prosecutions of attackers, villagers are taking measures into their own hands, resulting in reprisal attacks that can affect even the innocent. 5
- In addition to internally displaced people (IDP), Nigeria has the second highest mass migration (approx. 19,000 people) pouring into Europe from the Mediterranean since Jan. 2017.6
- It is estimated that 20 million Nigerians remain displaced by Boko Haram.7
The rising violence in Nigeria is dividing and separating different religious communities that are deeply tied to their ethno-religious identity. Some groups have claimed that the violence can be explained away as a result of cattle rustling; we believe, however, that conflicts of any kind should be resolved via proper legal channels. Again, we ask that the U.S. send a special coordinator to help counter the increasing violence in Nigeria, which jeopardize the stability of Nigeria, Europe, and the United States.
Become Part of the Solution: Stand With Nigeria
As individuals, we often feel helpless and ask, “What can I possibly do to help?” The answer is always, “Something”. Obviously, you can pray for the peace and security to return to Nigeria, but there is so much more. You can build awareness through social media, donate to those bringing change, raise your voice within your community (i.e. religious circles, political leaders, etc.). Finally, build your network within your faith community, ourselves and others working to bring about a lasting solution.
Raise Your Voice
- Share with network of family and friends on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Contact Your Representatives:
Sign the Petition:
- Visit Change.org by using the shortened URL: https://goo.gl/pd1hpo
2 http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2017/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2017.pdf– 24