A spiralling violence has escalated in Nigeria as Boko Haram group unleashed series of recent attacks.
Boko Haram Christmas Day, killing dozens of worshippers. The bombings occurred in Madala, on the outskirts of Abuja, the Nigerian capital, and in the north-eastern city of Jos.
The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay today urged a bold effort by Nigeria’s political and religious leaders to halt the spiralling sectarian violence.
“It is essential that the country’s leadership, and especially its Muslim and Christian leaders, join forces to unequivocally condemn all violence, including retaliation, and encourage their followers to identify and help arrest all those involved in killings and other acts of violence that have been taking place.” – High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
She urged the Nigeria’s leaders “to speak with one voice, and act resolutely to stop an already highly dangerous situation from spiralling out of control. She added that the religious tolerance that has been a central tenet of the nation is being threatened.
Ms. Pillay also said it was vital that the security forces respect human rights, and avoid excessive use of force, when conducting operations so as not to stoke further tensions and resentment.
She also noted that members of Boko Haram and other groups and entities, “if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population – including on grounds such as religion or ethnicity – could be found guilty of crimes against humanity.”
She stressed that deliberate acts leading to population “cleansing” on grounds of religion or ethnicity would also amount to a crime against humanity, she added.
Boko Haram, which aims to install strict Shariah, or Islamic, law across Nigeria, has vowed to keep killing Christians in the multiethnic country.