Pittella: Africa must be our partner and not only our neighbour. Boko Haram is a global threat and requires a global reaction

S&Ds: EU Trust Fund for Africa must put the people first

Speaking following a speech by Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella stated:

"We were honoured to have Nigerian President Buhari address the European Parliament today about the common threats, values and principles that link the European Union to Nigeria and Africa.

"Africa must be our partner and not only our neighbour and the S&D Group considers Africa as a key political priority. Widespread injustice in the African continent, poverty and the long-lasting underdevelopment situation as well as the low level of democracy and human rights represent the 'perfect ground' for further migration, terrorism, war and violence. We have to work together on security, jointly tackle the issue of migration and boost investments. Africa can be a source of jobs.

"Nigeria is a key partner in all these fields and cannot be left alone in its struggle against terrorism, since Boko Haram is a common threat, requiring a global reaction. We need and ask for the international community to realize that the fight against Boko Haram demands the same commitment as the fight against DAESH.
"We urge the Commission to use the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to provide assistance to uprooted children and youth in Nigeria.

"In line with its political priorities, the S&D Group have launched several initiatives on this topic, such as the Group's #4Africa campaign, and our upcoming Africa Week from 5 to 7 April 2016 and our leadership in demanding European legislation on the traceability of so-called conflict minerals."