Violence has flared again in northern Nigeria, where attacks attributed to the group known as Boko Haram have several areas in a state of emergency. More than 80 people have been killed by extremist and criminal groups in recent weeks, adding to the more than 500 violently killed in the region in the past year.
As a long-time friend of the people of Nigeria, the United States condemns the ongoing acts of violence and offers our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. We urge the Nigerian government to hold accountable those responsible for the attacks, while also protecting innocent civilians as they enforce the law.
Groups that use violence against innocents can never be considered legitimate spokesmen of people seeking justice or those trying to build a better future for their children. Instead, we applaud those civil society groups who take tangible steps to deliver government accountability and inclusive, lasting economic growth to the region.
The most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria derives enormous strength from its religious and ethnic diversity. We call on Christians and Muslims all over the country to defend the nation’s unity by protecting vulnerable minorities within their own communities.