On 17th July 2018 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of recent developments in Nigeria, including violence by the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I am sure that the Minister shares my deep concern about the violent attacks on Christians. For instance, the compound of my colleague the Archbishop of Jos was attacked a couple of weeks back, and one of his friends was killed. The Minister has rightly said how complex the situation is, but can she answer more specifically on what assistance the UK Government can give in the short term to strengthen the Government of Nigeria in their role of enforcing security and local mediation; in the medium term, to ensure reconciliation, which will enable the lives and economies of farmers and herders to be protected; and, in the long term, actively and tangibly to support regional efforts to combat the effects of climate change—the development of desertification, which is exacerbating ancient rivalries?
Baroness Goldie: I am very concerned about what the most reverend Primate identifies and reports. In relation to violence, the UK has offered our assistance to the Government of Nigeria through the vice-president’s office. We stand ready to support Nigerian-led initiatives. As for what else we can do, we are working closely with international partners. We have encouraged the EU and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel to extend their influence and develop sustainable solutions to the conflict, including through support to community conflict resolution initiatives, which we believe are essential. I reassure the most reverend Primate that we are considering options for how the UK can support reconciliation at local levels. We cannot ignore the fundamental causes of the violence, so we are reviewing HM Government’s support for Nigeria in, for example, as the most reverend Primate identifies, tackling the effects of climate change.