Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-11-15-Speech-4-189"

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"In order to achieve world peace, it is essential for people of different creeds and races to respect each other and live together in peace. This is not the case in an increasing number of countries in the world, and that is an extremely worrying trend. Unfortunately, Nigeria is an alarming case in point. Precious little is left of the hopes which the democratically elected president had raised as successor of the corrupt military regime. Ethnic and religious feuds are now the order of the day across the country. Not a month goes by without blood being shed. The number of casualties is running into the hundreds and the situation is getting worse, not better. In that light, the balance sheet for October is shocking. There was fighting between Muslims and Christians in Jos and disturbances in Kano where, moreover, there has been a cholera outbreak. The government army carried out ethnic atrocities and massacres in the Middle Belt. The government itself was shrouded in silence. Only after two weeks did President Obasanjo announce that a special committee would investigate the murders. The billion-dollar question is whether the president is actually up to the task of running this country which is extremely difficult to govern. Apparently, his position is not strong enough in order to keep the country united and allow the different nations to live together peacefully. It is frightening. Just now when we are nearly free of the Taliban, we are lumbered with regions such as the north of Nigeria, where the shari’ah is introduced. Autonomy for those regions should not go as far as observing their own rules that are diametrically opposed to national legislation and that suppress the population and women, in particular. To sentence a pregnant woman to capital punishment for having intercourse before marriage is barbaric. My question to the Commission is: What can the European Union do? In any event, the dialogue with Nigeria will need to be intensified. However, Europe’s hands are tied if the president and the government themselves lack the courage to act and to do everything in their power to allow the Nigerians to live together in peace."@en1

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