Nigeria: Religious Freedom

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 29th November 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 29 September (HL2695), what progress they have made on their engagement "with state governments, civil society, faith and community leaders and affected communities” in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Our High Commissioner and her team regularly visit states to engage with state governments, civil society, faith and community leaders and affected communities. Most recently, British High Commission officials visited Plateau state in October 2021, where they met with a range of interlocutors, including Christian and Muslim leaders to discuss intercommunal violence. These discussions highlighted the causes of the intercommunal violence are complex and relate frequently to criminality, competition for resources and failures of governance.

We regularly raise insecurity in Nigeria with the Nigerian Government. On 1 November, the Minister for Africa raised the issue of insecurity with Nigeria's Foreign Minister in a meeting at the COP26 summit in Glasgow. The Prime Minister also discussed this with President Buhari in the margins of the Global Education Summit in July. We continue to urge and support the Nigerian Government to take action to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence.

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