Christian Solidarity International (CSI), an NGO campaigning for religious freedom, has appointed Dr Onyemaechi Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh to lead its international advocacy work for Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on genocide prevention.
Dr, Franklyne Ogbunwezeh
Dr Ogbunwezeh was until his appointment Director of the Africa Department at the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) based in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Nigerian-born jurist, philosopher and economic ethicist is a vocal advocate for human rights and religious freedom across the African continent. He joins the advocacy department led by CSI’s International President, Dr John Eibner, on October 1, 2020 as Senior Research Fellow for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Ogbunwezeh’s appointment comes as CSI steps up its advocacy work in the region. In January 2020 CSI issued a genocide warning for Nigeria in response to a rising tide of violence directed against Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and Middle Belt regions.
The twin evils of Boko Haram and the Fulani militias have claimed at least 6,000 Christian lives in Nigeria since 2015, with 1,400 recorded deaths in the first seven months of 2020 alone. Rising jihadist violence threatens to destabilise not just Nigeria but western Africa as a whole, and requires urgent action from the international community.
“CSI is pleased indeed to have Dr Ogbunwezeh on our staff,” commented Dr Eibner. “He will add great energy, expertise and know-how to CSI’s international efforts to prevent genocide and help victims of sectarian-linked atrocity crimes, especially in Nigeria and surrounding African states.”
Dr Ogbunwezeh studied philosophy and law in Enugu, Nigeria. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Italy, and a doctorate in social ethics from the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, for which he received the Konrad Adenauer Award for gifted students.
Dr Ogbunwezeh has led the ISHR Africa Department since 2009 and has published articles in a number of academic journals and magazines. He is the author of the book Towards an Ethical-ecological Assessment of Companies in Nigeria (2012).
In addition, Dr Ogbunwezeh is a regular contributor to the Nigeria Report website – www.nigeria-report.org – launched by CSI in 2019 to provide news and a platform for discussion about ways to end the sectarian and ethnic violence in Nigeria.