Nigeria: October 18, 2004

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Ijaw tribal gang leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, and his "Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force" (NDPVF), continue negotiating with the government. Rebels like this can be dealt with two ways in Nigeria. Either you kill them, or pay them off. Dokubo-Asari would prefer the latter outcome, but this has not yet been decided. Meanwhile, Dokubo-Asari threatens to shut down most of Nigeria's oil production, which comes out of the delta region. Over 80 percent of the governments income is from oil revenues, and most of that is stolen by corrupt politicians, or used to pay corrupt government employees. But if the flow of oil is interrupted, so is the supply of money used to keep the governments supporters (politicians,  police and the army) loyal. Mujahid Dokubo-Asari says he can call on 200,000 armed tribal warriors. The government is trying to get an idea of exactly how many of these promised warriors are real. If they number is too high, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari gets paid off. Otherwise, he dies.

 


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