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Vol 45 No 20

Published 8th October 2004


Nigeria

Day of the locusts

Asari and his foes have pulled back from the brink in the Niger Delta but the threat remains

Mujahid Dokubo Asari's 'Operation Locust Feast' was supposed to begin on Independence Day, 1 October, and was effectively a declaration of war on President Olusegun Obasanjo's government and oil companies working in Nigeria (AC Vol 45 Nos 18 & 19). Prospects of the Niger Delta clashes escalating to an all-out conflict between militias and government troops helped to send world oil prices soaring above US$50 a barrel. It certainly concentrated minds in Abuja. Thousands of people would have been killed and onshore oil production would have been completely knocked out. For now, there is a chance that the shaky ceasefire will hold as a prelude to serious political negotiations.

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