Africa’s most populous country is Nigeria, with a population that today numbers 200 million and that is on track by 2050 to be larger than America’s. Nigeria is also poised to become its continent’s biggest problem.
Terrorists associated with Boko Haram and Fulani militants are slaughtering, enslaving, expelling and otherwise persecuting a growing number of Nigerian Christians. Some Muslims have also been killed. Nigeria’s government has not been successful in preventing such horrors, and these traumatic effects are rippling throughout that nation and neighboring states in the Lake Chad region.
Unless something is done at once, Nigeria may implode, prompting incalculable suffering for its people and the prospect of many millions of them fleeing, posing what rock star Bono has warned would be “an existential threat to Europe.”
Fortunately, something can be done to help stave off such a disaster if President Donald Trump adopts a model used successfully by one of his predecessors to deal with a similar crisis in another African nation.
In 2001, George W. Bush appointed former Sen. John Danforth to be America’s Special Envoy for Sudan. A respected veteran legislator, Amb. Danforth successfully forged a unified and robust policy among often fractious U.S. government agencies, including the National Security Council, the Departments of State and Defense, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Religious Freedom Commission, the U.S. mission to the United Nations and the intelligence community.
The ambassador then proved a formidable advocate with the Sudanese government and international community on behalf of the Christians and other minorities Khartoum was relentlessly attacking in the south, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile region. Thanks in part to his efforts, South Sudan ultimately gained its independence from Sudan—a notable achievement, even if violence continues to be a problem on both sides of the new border.
A U.S. Special Envoy is now urgently needed for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. With each passing day, the Christians—who make up roughly half of Nigeria’s population, especially those in the northern and central regions of the country—and others are in mortal peril.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rep. Frank Wolf and Amb. Tony P. Hall