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Secretary-General statement on Nigerian suicide bombing

17 November 2017

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland today expressed her concern for the violence in Nigeria that saw 14 people killed in a suicide bombing in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for this week’s attack, the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has carried out many such atrocities in the city.

Secretary-General Scotland said: “It is an outrage that so many innocent people were targeted, killed and maimed in this terror attack. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this appalling act. We in the Commonwealth family stand united against all who would seek to divide us and we condemn all such attacks.”

The Commonwealth Secretariat delivers a range of activities and programmes to help member countries prevent the hateful and discordant narratives of violent extremists from gaining traction in any of our communities.  They include youth engagement, protection and promotion of human rights and countering violent extremism.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions forced to leave their homes by Boko Haram violence in recent years.  Only last month, Nigerian Federal High Court judges met in London with Commonwealth, United Nations and UK experts to examine and improve on the adjudication of terrorism cases.  At that time, Nigeria’s Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, said: “Terrorism has no boundaries, it has no colour, no tribe, and there is no country that can say they are immune from acts of terrorism so we all have to work together.”

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