by Peter Dörrie
In this installment of the Africa Round-Up, I cover recent developments in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan. Be sure to check it out!
As fuel prices skyrocketed after a cut in subsidies, Lagos and other cities were hit by huge protests. At least one protester died after being shot by police, but in most cases the marches remained peaceful. The price of petrol more than doubled at the pump after the government phased out a $8-billion subsidy at the beginning of this year. Despite being one of the world’s largest crude oil producers for many years now, Nigeria still has to import refined petroleum products, as it only has very limited refining capacities inside the country.
Meanwhile, the north of the country saw some of the worst violence ever over Christmas, when the terror group Boko Haram bombed churches and attacked security forces, leavingscores of people dead. President Goodluck Jonathan reacted by declaring an indefinite state of emergency in the northern states, while several Christian groups threatened toretaliate against future attacks. Despite heavy-handed efforts of the security services over the last few years, Boko Haram has been able to constantly launch more sophisticated attacks. While a new security doctrine now came into effect, which “puts security of Nigerians first,” it can be doubted that the authorities will be able to reduce the threat posed by religious extremism if they do not tackle the underlying grievances of the mostly young men who sympathize and fight for Boko Haram.
Find the complete round-up here.