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Group of UN Experts Concerned Over Threats to Nigeria’s Igbo Minority

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The group of experts includes Mutuma Ruteere, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia; Fernand de Varennes, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and Anastasia Crickley, the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concerned over ultimatum given to Igbo in Nigeria.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A group of UN experts is concerned over a recent ultimatum given to Igbo people by a number of political and cultural leaders from Northern Nigeria, who demand that the minority group flee their homes in the country’s north, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a Friday statement.

The ultimatum calling for an anti-Igbo campaign was voiced back in June.

“An ultimatum telling Nigeria’s Igbo minority in the north of the country to flee their homes is of ‘grave concern’, a group of United Nations human rights experts has warned. The experts also deplored a hate song and audio message being circulated on the internet and on social media. The Hausa-language audio message urges northern Nigerians to destroy the property of Igbo people and kill anyone who refuses to leave by 1 October, the same date given in the ultimatum,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the group of experts includes Mutuma Ruteere, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; Fernand de Varennes, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and Anastasia Crickley, the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The statement went on to add that the UN experts welcomed the fact that a number of Nigerian officials had condemned the hate speech against the Igbo minority group, but also pointed out that there were still officials who have not followed the lead of their compatriots.

The Igbo people are an African ethnic group living mostly in the southern part of Nigeria, but also in other parts of the country, including the north. In 1967, the Igbo people led the secession of several ethnic groups into the Republic of Biafra, which existed through 1970 before its reintegration into Nigeria.

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