Letter to UN Secretary General

 

January 6, 2014

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General

U.N. Headquarters

New York, NY 10017

U.S.A.

Dear Secretary-General Ban,

 

On behalf of the Washington Working Group on Nigeria, we would like to thank you

for your service to the global community in promoting international cooperation,

peace and security. The Working Group on Nigeria is a coalition of U.S. organizations

working in the U.S., the U.N., I.C.C. and other fora advocating for peace, justice and

humanitarian assistance in response to the insurgency in northern Nigeria.

 

Pursuant to our efforts, on November 13th, 2013, the U.S. government designated

the Nigerian jihadists group Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The

United Kingdom, Canada, and Nigeria have also designated Boko Haram a Terrorist

Organization. By designating Boko Haram a Terrorist Organization, these nations

have placed financial sanction on Boko Haram and their affiliates.

 

Boko Haram’s 200+ body count in the January 20, 2012 massacre was the highest

single death toll in any conflict worldwide exceeding Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan,

Pakistan and tied only with Syria. The National Consortium for the Study of

Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) reported that Boko Haram was

the second most deadly terrorist group for the year 2012 ranking only behind the

Taliban – and ahead of Al Qaeda.

 

Similarly:

 

• As you are well aware, thousands of lives have been lost in this largely silent

slaughter in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram including members of your

own staff in the 2011 U.N. bombing.

• Nearly one-third of the religious institutions targeted globally in 2012 were

located in Nigeria, where Boko Haram overwhelmingly attacked churches.

• There were more attacks on religious institutions in Nigeria than there were

attacks on diplomatic embassies around the world combined (diplomatic

institutions including the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank,

the World Health Organization and the UN as well as consulates, embassies, and

diplomatic personnel)

 

The time has indeed come to help bring an end to what you have described as

“senseless violence” and to aid those that have lost so much especially as it has now

assumed international humanitarian dimensions with thousands of refugees in

Cameroun, Chad and Niger.

 

Regrettably, there is currently no victim compensation fund for the victims of

these massacres as Nigeria’s President announced that he would not provide

compensation. Apart from the limited relief efforts some of our members are

undertaking, we are not aware of any support by multilateral or international

donors to victims in Nigeria.

 

However, the Nigerian government is reportedly spending over 30 million dollars to

repair the U.N. building in Abuja after it was bombed in 2011. Over 100 churches

have been destroyed since the U.N. bombing in 2011, about 3 mosques attacked and

thousands of homes, farms and businesses as well, yet the Nigerian government has

offered no restitution for the victims.

 

These victims are desperate. Desperation and destitution in the face of impunity are

potential drivers for retaliation and escalation. This needs to be urgently mitigated.

 

On this 2nd anniversary of the Mubi Massacre of January, 6, 2012, we the

undersigned organizations join Ike Nzeribe, the sole survivor of that attack, and

urge the U.N. to repay at a minimum the equivalent amount of the renovation costs

towards a Victim Compensation Fund. We consider it unfair for the world’s top

diplomatic institution, which is funded by national governments to derive a benefit

from the Nigerian government when Nigeria’s own indigent citizens who lack the

social welfare safety net and perquisites of diplomats are deprived of the same.

 

Our data shows that in 2011 attacks around Nigeria’s capital city, Boko Haram first

bombed the Police HQ in June, ACFM church in July, the U.N. building in August and

St. Theresa’s Catholic church on Christmas day – all fatally. Recently, our fact-finders

visited St Theresa’s and found a mother who lost her husband and three children

in the bombing, struggling to care for a 13-year old son who survived but still has

shrapnel in his skull – 2 years after. People like this would benefit from a VCF.

 

We also urge that the UN Security Council impose global terror finance sanctions on

Boko Haram as an AlQaida affiliate.

 

Finally, we would like to formally request a meeting with you to discuss these

issues.

 

We thank you for your repeated statements on the situation and ask you to take

actions reflective of the concern you have expressed.

 

We look forward to your prompt attention to this letter.

 

Sincerely,

ORGANIZATIONS:

Advocates International

African Christian Fellowship USA

Christian Association of Nigerian Americans (CANAN)

The Institute on Religion and Democracy

The Igbo League

Jubilee Campaign

Justice for Jos

Red Eagle Enterprises

Religious Freedom Coalition

The Westminister Institute

INDIVIDUALS:

Andrew E. Harrod, Ph.D

Independent Researcher and Writer

Ikenna Nzeribe

Victim and Sole Survivor of Boko Haram’s Mubi Massacre (January 6, 2012)