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Bishops: Nigeria ‘totters on the brink’

Catholic World News - May 24, 2013

Nigeria, the world’s seventh most populous nation, “now almost totters on the brink” of disaster, the nation’s bishops warned in a statement entitled “To Rescue Nigeria from Collapse.”

“What started as a mere clash between law enforcement agencies and members of the Islamic sect commonly labeled Boko Haram, has since spiraled into what can, be best described as a low-intensity war especially in some northern states of the country,” the bishops said. “Taken together with a range of other crises in other parts of the country such as armed robbery, kidnapping, communal clashes, our country now almost totters on the brink.”

“Families have been wiped out, communities displaced and now refugees and internally displaced persons roam the Nigerian landscape,” they continued. “Everyday, we hear more and more ugly stories of death and destruction in the land. Sadly, the entire apparatus of state security seems totally overwhelmed by the agents of darkness.”

Stating that proposals to grant blanket amnesty to the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram are tantamount to “an endorsement of criminality,” the bishops nonetheless said that they support “genuine amnesty … offering pardon to repentant militants and not appeasing criminals and their sponsors to stay calm.”

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