July 8, 2007

NIGERIA UPDATE:

The separatist movements in the Niger Delta are not making much progress, but the copycat gangs that have emerged to join in the growing banditry and mayhem, are. Gangs of robbers roam the main highways, some of them in police uniform (and some of those may actually be police). More gangsters are demanding protection money from businesses, and that leads to gangs fighting over control of territory to “protect.” The government is concerned because of the billions of dollars in lost oil revenue. About a quarter of Nigerias oil production is now shut down by the violence. The government cannot muster sufficient security forces to pacify the Delta, and has been unable to negotiate a deal to get the new players, the Delta gangs, to do it for them.

Obviously, we should pull our troops out. Oh, wait . . . .

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