To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will hold discussions with his Nigerian counterpart on (a) the rescue of Leah Sharibu and other people kidnapped by Boko Haram and (b) ending the violence against Christians in Nigeria’s middle belt. (226722)
Tabled on: 27 February 2019
Answer - Harriett Baldwin:
The UK repeatedly calls for the release of all those abducted by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) including Leah Sharibu. We will continue to use our public messaging and extensive engagement with the Government of Nigeria to secure their release. The Government of Nigeria has given assurances that they are making all efforts to secure Leah's release.
We regularly raise our concerns about intercommunal violence with the Nigerian Government at the highest levels. Our assessment is that religious identity is a factor but the root causes are highly complex, including disputes over land, farming rights, the impact of climate change, grazing routes and access to water. Our High Commission in Abuja is engaging closely with international partners, the Nigerian government, state governments and the National Economic Council to develop measures which address the underlying causes of the conflict, including the recently-announced bi-partisan National Livestock Transformation Plan.