Nigeria: Politics and Government
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Photo of Ian Lucas

Ian Lucas (Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs); Wrexham, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the causes of sectarian violence involving the Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Photo of Henry Bellingham

Henry Bellingham (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; North West Norfolk, Conservative)

In the last year Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for attacks against a range of targets including government institutions, security forces and an international organisation, the UN. Recently, Boko Haram has also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks specifically targeted against Christians and Christian places of worship, although it remains the case that the majority of Boko Haram's victims to date have been Muslims, including Muslim religious leaders. We assess that the purpose of the attacks against Christians is to exacerbate religious and communal tensions. However, in some instances we judge that attacks carried out with criminal motives are also being ascribed to Boko Haram. Poverty, lack of economic opportunity, social inequality and political tensions all contribute significantly to insecurity in northern and central Nigeria.

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