Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Is Nigeria the next Mali?

While the French deal with the situation in Mali, there is another troubled country just to the south.  Nigeria is a large country, both blessed and cursed with natural resources.  Its oil wealth is enormous, but the corruption spawned from it has arguably crippled the country.

It is a country with approximately 250 ethnic groups and over 500 languages spoken (although based in its British colonial past, its official language is English).  The three major tribal groups are Hausa and Fulani 29% (primarily Muslim and located in the north), Yoruba 21% (about half Muslim and half Christian and located to the east), and Igbo (Ibo) 18% (who are predominately Christian and located along the coast and in the Niger river delta).  Those groups make up the majority of the country.  The country is roughly half Muslim and half Christian, with varying animist and other minority religions.

The Ibo were the group that broke away as the succession state of the Republic of Biafra.  That occurred in 1967 and led to a brutal civil war in Nigeria that lasted for 30 months and resulted in over a million deaths (some estimates as high as three million).

Nigeria is a country with serious political, ethnic and religious differences.

Is Nigeria becoming the new frontier of al Qaeda?   Almost certainly there is some involvement from outside Islamic forces.  Nigeria own Islamist militant movement, Boko Haram, is trying to impose a Sharia state across the country.  Boko Haram has not been destroyed and continues to operate in the north.

Mali Jihadi Rebels still gaining, despite French air attacks...
Liberated Mali town tells of horrors of Al Qaeda
A Time of Revenge in Timbuktu...

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