Nigeria: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Labour, Hackney South and Shoreditch

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department is providing to the Government of Nigeria to help resolve localised violent conflict in that country.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

During post-election violence in April 2011, the British high commission in Abuja initiated an international community statement urging restraint, and worked with Nigerian political leaders to use their influence to calm the inflamed situation, particularly in northern Nigeria.

We remain concerned about inter-communal violence in Plateau State in Nigeria. Over the past year the British high commission in Abuja has regularly met state and federal level authorities including the Chair of the Presidential Committee on the Jos Crisis, Chief Solomon Lar, as well as traditional and religious leaders, and stressed the need to implement a long-term approach combining job opportunities, reconciliation and political settlement. The British high commission also works closely with the Department for International Development on ground-level peace initiatives in Jos which have worked to increase dialogue between communities and to provide vocational skills training.

We welcome the improved levels of peace and security in the Niger delta which have resulted from the Nigerian Government's amnesty process which began in 2009. On my visit to Nigeria in February this year I stressed the importance of economic growth and the provision of employment opportunities for young people in the delta when I met Rotimi Amaechi, the Governor of Rivers State, in Port Harcourt.

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