The United Nations has a special adviser to work to prevent genocide around the globe, and the European Center for Law and Justice is calling on him to respond and take “appropriate action” against the Muslim Boko Haram killers decimating the Christian community in Nigeria.
The letter from the international affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice pointed out it holds a Special Consultative Status before the U.N., and is making the request on behalf of its members and more than 752,000 people from 191 nations and territories.
“Christians are increasingly the targets of religiously motivated violence, and immediate action must be taken to ensure that their plight does not rise to the level of their fellow Christians who have suffered so greatly in Iraq and Syria,” the new letter says.
The letter to Special Adviser Adama Dieng, the ALJC confirms, tells him of the dire plight of Nigeria’s Christians, “who are experiencing horrific atrocities at the hands of Boko Haram (a jihadist militant group) and the Fulani herdsm[e]n.”
The letter explains that Nigeria is split – with Muslims dominating the north part of the country and Christians in the south.
“Within the southern regions, Christians experience religious freedom; however, in the northern and central regions, Christians face a true threat from Islamic militant groups such as Boko Haram and increasingly from Fulani herdsman, a group of Islamic nomadic herders.”
What have the Muslim attackers done in recent years?
“It is estimated that since May of 2011 Boko Haram has killed more than 37,500 people, displaced 2.4 million, and created 228,000 refugees. Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS and utilizes its tactics of mass killings and kidnapping to instill fear and to intimidate. They target Christians and anyone else whom they see as a threat to the establishment of an Islamic State,” the letter explains.
“Additionally, reports indicate that since 2013 Boko Haram has abducted approximately 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria. These attacks and kidnappings have been carried out when children are at school and should feel safe. However, it is estimated that Boko Haram has killed over 2,000 teachers and destroyed more than 1,400 schools.”
Among its more egregious threats in one that they will turn a kidnapped Christian girl into a slave – for life – in their demands are not met.
“In addition to the deadly attacks by Boko Haram, there are reports of growing conflict in the central regions of Nigeria between the predominately Muslim Fulani hersdman and the predominately Christian farmers,” the letter explains. “The Fulani herdsman have begun attacking Christian farmers, destroying homes, churches, and even kidnapping Christian school girls in order to marry them to Muslim men.”
Just months ago, the Muslims attacked during mass at a Catholic Church killing 19. A few days later, 39 Christians were killed and 160 homes burned by Muslims.
“Horrific acts of aggression are violating the peaceful lives of Christians in Nigeria. In order to prevent further loss of life, avoid a massive humanitarian crisis, and end increasing religiously motivated violence, we must act now,” the letter insists. “The U.N. Charter calls on the U.N. to remove threats to peace, and the Genocide Convention calls on the U.N. to prevent acts of genocide, not merely to respond to genocide.”
The letter urges the special adviser to work to end the violence.
“Action must be taken to not only stop the spread of violence and ‘prevent … genocide’ against Christians within Nigeria, but also the spread of such violence throughout Sub-Saharan Africa,” it said.
Boko Haram has in fact already begun carrying out attacks in neighboring Chad and Cameroon.
The ACLJ previously contacted Dieng about genocide in Iraq and Syrian and he echoed the concerns.
“Genocide must indeed be prevented. And the time for action to protect Nigeria’s Christians from genocide is now,” the ACLJ said.