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The silence of the UN on the situation of Nigeria

The United Nations should have taken action on the situation in Nigeria – yet they still remain silent. Both the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Nigeria and leading Christian organisations demanded that the President take action and asked the international community to defend Christians that are under constant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen. But there has been no answer, no statement, no action taken. 

According to the Nigerian Bishop’s Conference press release published on June 29th, Fulani herders brutally slaughtered nineteen  Christians-  among them two Catholic priests -on the 24th of April this year. Since then thousands more have fallen victim to the terrorist attacks of the Fulanis. The victims include children and women, some of whom were pregnant. 

Christian church leaders said that in this year alone, more than six thousand people had been killed, a number comprising of mostly women and children. As the organisation ‘Christian Association of Nigeria’ stated: “what goes on in Nigeria today is a genocide that has to end immediately.”

Both the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Nigeria and leading Christian organisations demanded that the President take action and asked the international community to defend Christians that are under constant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen.

The Bishop’s press release noted that they see a “double standard”  being applied to the conflicts between the Fulanis and the Christians.  They pointed out that “it would seem to be more than mere chance” that the  federal government finds it difficult “to proactively address the issue of these wanton killings” by the Fulanis, yet “any time the Fulani herdsmen are attacked or killed, they (the police) react very swiftly and ensure the full rigour of the law is promptly applied.”

The Christian Association of Nigeria said the same, stating that “banditry and terrorism have been taking place on a daily basis in our (Christian) communities  and go unchallenged despite huge investments in the security agencies.”

It is more than disturbing that neither the international community headed by the United Nations nor the mainstream media pick up on this topic. They just do not seem to care about the killings, the torture, or the defiling of dead bodies of the massacred Christians.

There are numerous articles by Christian online media outlets that strive to bring the public ’s attention to these horrible acts. Eternity News, Persecution.org, Open Doors USA,, and many other Christian news services demanded the international community and especially the UN to respond. S4C also reported several times about this issue.

But there has been no answer, no statement, no action taken. I encourage the reader to go to the UN’s site and try to find anything on the killings in Nigeria by the Fulanis in the last months.

ACLJ (American Centre for Law and Justice, a Christian-based social activism and watchdog organisation)  submitted a submitted a written legal submission  to the U.N.  two months ago.  They followed that up by a critical oral intervention at the U.N. Human Rights Council through their European office, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), urging the world to intervene.

It seems that neither the Nigerian Bishops’ Conference, nor leading Christian Organizations have managed to get the U.N. to react.

I sometimes have the impression that for those people sitting in their chairs at the U.N. headquarters in New York, “Christians don’t matter.”  It seems to me that their senses are somehow “switched off” to the outcry from Christians.  Péter Szijjártó, the Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs said at the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington DC at the end of July that ”…a false narrative has been created; a belief that because there are so many Christians around the world, any anti-Christian activities should be subtly allowed as an acceptable form of discrimination.” I share his feelings.

Last month we published an exclusive article based on a video we received from the Hungarian Embassy in Nigeria. The video itself could not be shown because the content was too explicit:  it was filmed after a massacre that Fulanis committed on Christians. The footage shows dead bodies on the street, bodies that have been defiled in various ways.

As a result of our publication, we received an incredible amount of comments about the article on social media, many of them were not friendly at all. And what astonished me was the comments that openly denied the existence of a problem. Comments such as: “they are only Africans, so who cares,” or “the less Christian, the better” were shocking to read.

My point is that I believe some people think this way in leadership positions in the U.N. and other international organisations as well. The only difference is that they don’t write comments like these. Instead, they express their opinion through silence- which is worse than sending aggressive remarks through social media. Those comments can hurt -but their silence kills because it gives way for further violence and more victims.

I would like to ask these people to put their prejudices away and act.

Gentlemen, do your duty and stand up for persecuted Christians in Nigeria NOW.

Photo: Fulani militant (source: momoafrica.com)

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