Nigeria: inter-religious violence, Boniver soon to be in Africa
ROME, Italy, June 18, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The latest bloody Sunday in Nigeria has given a tragic boost to the escalating violence there against Christians. According to Minister Giulio Terzi's announcement, the Italian government's special envoy for humanitarian emergencies Margherita Boniver, was preparing for a visit to Africa to meet with the local authorities on the issue of inter-religious conflict. Terzi cited as “indispensable that the upcoming EU Foreign Affairs Council discuss the defence of religious minorities, as Italy has called for”.
Terzi added that three levels of intervention are going to be needed to stem interreligious violence in Nigeria: inclusion of the defence of religious minorities into constitutions, tolerance training and counter-terrorism collaboration”. These issues were the central focus of meetings the minister held last Thursday at the foreign ministry in Rome with Arab League Secretary General Nabil El Araby.
Islamic extremist aims
Christian places of worship in Nigeria have become the main target for the Islamic extremists of Boko Haram, a group linked with Al Qaeda whose aim is not only to install an Islamic Caliphate in the country's north, but also the broader and more dangerous one of triggering an inter-religious civil war by shattering the tenuous stability of Africa's most populous nation: half of Nigeria's approximately 160 million inhabitants are Christians concentrated in the country's south, and the other half are Muslims, who are the majority in the north.