Nigeria recalls envoy after Gaddafi 'partition' comment

Nigeria has recalled its ambassador to Libya after Gaddafi "irresponsible" suggestion.

Nigeria recalls envoy after Gaddafi 'partition' comment

Nigeria has recalled its ambassador to Libya after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi "irresponsible" suggestion that the country be partitioned between Muslims and Christians.

The Nigerian Foreign Ministry said it had recalled Ambassador Isah Mohammed for urgent consultations after Gaddafi's comments, which come as Nigeria tries to contain violent clashes between Christian and Muslim gangs which have killed hundreds of people around the central city of Jos.

The Nigerian parliament meanwhile passed a motion late on Thursday urging the government to order an investigation by the African Union into whether Libya was supplying "infiltrators" to destabilise the country.

"The insensitive and oftentimes irresponsible utterances of Colonel Gaddafi, his theatrics and grandstanding at every auspicious occasion have become too numerous to recount. These have diminished his status and credibility as a leader to be taken seriously," the Nigerian Foreign Ministry said.

"His comments on the crisis in Jos, Plateau state, are most unacceptable and unbecoming of any leader who claims to advocate and champion the cause of African integration and unity."

Gaddafi said in a speech to students this week that the Jos crisis was a "deep conflict of religious nature" and suggested splitting Nigeria along religious lines "would stop bloodshed and burning of places of worship", according to the BBC.

He praised the example of India and Pakistan, where he said partition had saved many lives.

Hundreds of people were killed in the latest outbreak of sectarian violence in central Plateau State last week.

The state, with Jos as its capital, is the de facto buffer between the predominantly Muslim north and the largely Christian and animist south.

Nigeria's 140 million population is almost equally divided between Muslims and Christians.

"(We) call on the federal Government to request the African Union to order an independent investigation ... and ascertain if there is a relationship between (Gaddafi's) comment and the primary sources of the supply of infiltrators who come to fight Nigerians in their homeland," parliament's motion said.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the cabinet on Wednesday in a bid to consolidate his authority.

Gaddafi was until recently the head of the African Union.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mart 2010, 14:17