We ask that the US government send a Special Envoy to Nigeria (and Lake Chad region).
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The rising violence in Nigeria deeps the divides that separate different religious communities because Nigerian identities are deeply tied with ethno-religious identities. Some groups have claimed that the violence can be explained away as a result of cattle rustling; we believe, however, that conflicts of any kind should be resolved via proper legal channels.
We ask that the United States send a Special Envoy to Nigeria:
- Specifically for the purpose of coordinating an adequate response to the crises in Nigeria.
- To help counter the increasing violence in Nigeria, which jeopardize the stability of Nigeria, Europe, and the United States.
Nigeria is of a strategic interest to the United States, as it stands at the intersection of North Africa and Sub Saharan African. Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and is one of the top 25 most populous globally. As the largest economy in Africa, it holds considerable weight in African politics and business, but it has the highest social hostilities around religion.
The situation in Nigeria threatens to undermine its stability and could result in decreased trade between Nigerian and global companies, as well as start a mass influx of refugees escaping the violence. It is of vital US economic, political, and national security interest to confront the issues that endanger Nigeria today.
President Trump confronted Nigerian President Buhari regarding religious persecution and the ongoing situation with Boko Haram and Fulani militants. He also met with two escaped Chibok girls (kidnapped by Boko Haram), but the situation in Nigeria continues to deteriorate. Some Fulani militants, emboldened by the actions of Boko Haram, have begun using violent tactics against civilians.
Although President Buhari has labelled some of these attacks as "terrorism", overall, the Nigerian government's response to the situation is weak. The growing trend of violence we see in these attacks will destabilize the nation if we do not act soon.
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