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Vol 54 No 11

Published 24th May 2013


An insurgency without the oil

With Map: Recent Boko Haram activity: bombings, shootings, kidnappings, jailbreaks

At face value, the declaration by President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, dominated by appointees from the oil-rich Niger Delta, of a state of emergency in north-east Nigeria and plans to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents there looks like a reversal of the political clashes in the 1990s. Then a military regime, led by General Sani Abacha from the north-east, tried to use the army to crush a militant insurgency in the Niger Delta. There are important parallels: Abacha’s regime failed to quell the Delta militants but deeply polarised the country. Jonathan’s campaign also risks military and political failure.

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