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Summary: 6 May 2010, Brussels – The European Parliament strongly condemned the recent violence and tragic loss of life in and around the Nigerian city of Jos in a resolution adopted on Thursday. Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) urged all parties to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria.
In the resolution, Parliament calls on the Nigerian government to carry out an investigation into the causes of the violence and ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice in a fair and transparent manner.
As broad and simplistic explanations based only on religion will not provide the basis for lasting solution to the problems of this region, say MEPs, the root causes of the violence must be addressed "by guaranteeing equal rights for all citizens and by tackling problems relating to control of fertile farmland, access to resources, unemployment, poverty and climate change mitigation".
No to death penalty
MEPs urge the authorities to repeal the recent move by some Nigerian state governors to execute death row inmates to ease overcrowded prisons, seeing it as a blunt violation of human rights and contrary to Nigeria's commitment to apply the moratorium on the death penalty.
During the outbreaks of violence in January and March in and around Jos, many hundreds of people were killed in religious and ethnic clashes. The city of Jos, lying between the Muslim north and the Christian south of the country is divided into Christian and Muslim areas. As a consequence of this violence at least 5600 people are reported to have fled the area in fear of their lives.
The resolution was adopted by show of hands and was supported by the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA, ECR and EFD groups.
Condolences at death of President Umaru Yar’Adua
In the debate preceding the adoption of the resolution MEPs expressed their condolences for the death of the Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua on Wednesday evening.