US Policy on Nigeria Needs an Unblinkered View of Atrocities

US Policy on Nigeria Needs an Unblinkered View of Atrocities

The Epoch Times

Nina Shea

June 12, 2021

Nigeria, despite boasting Africa’s largest economy, is “falling apart,” warn that nation’s Catholic bishops. Pointing to the mayhem let loose by various Islamic terrorist groups and criminals, they describe government authorities that are “either unable — or worse still, unwilling — to take up the responsibilities of their office.” Citing the bishops, Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria expert Ambassador John Campbell agrees, aptly summarizing the crisis in the headline of his May 31 analysis, “The Giant of Africa is Failing.”

A chaotic, bloody disintegration of Africa’s most populous nation would be catastrophic for the region and beyond, witnesses emphasized at a June 9 hearing of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Former Congressman Frank Wolf, the original sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), was among the USCIRF witnesses. Having visited the country and learned of the ongoing atrocities, he emphasized that there are warning signs of genocide against Nigerian Christian communities and others, which must be taken seriously. He urged the Biden administration to appoint a special envoy for an inter-agency, regional, and international response to this crisis, and a special investigator to give trusted input on the mass atrocities, especially needed in the Middle Belt, a region that stretches across central Nigeria.

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