Nigeria

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 8th February 2010.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) whether he has made representations to the Nigerian government on the violence in Jos, Nigeria in January 2010; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what reports he has received on the number of people displaced following the outbreak of violence in Jos, Nigeria in January 2010; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what his most recent assessment is of the security situation in Jos, Nigeria; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what discussions he has had with members of (a) the Commonwealth, (b) the Economic Community of West African States and (c) the African Union on violence in the Nigerian city of Jos in January 2010 on preventing the recurrence of such violence; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We are deeply saddened by the recent violence in Jos, Nigeria, where media reports suggest that over 550 people have died. It is not yet clear how many people have been displaced by these tragic events. We understand that the security situation has calmed and stabilised following the deployment of additional security forces by Vice-President Jonathan.

Our high commissioner in Abuja regularly discussed the situation in Jos with both the federal and state governments. He has consistently raised concerns about loss of life, and urged all sides to work together to achieve peaceful reconciliation. On 29 January my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a joint statement with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and EU High Representative Baroness Ashton in which they called on the Government of Nigeria to ensure those responsible for crimes in Jos face justice, and all parties work towards a long-term solution to inter-communal conflict. My noble Friend the Minister of State for Africa also expressed her condolences for those who had lost their lives when she met the Nigerian Foreign Minister in the UK on 20 January 2010. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had direct discussions on Jos with the Nigerian Government, members of the Commonwealth, the Economic Community of West African States or the African Union.

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