Nigeria: Oil War Stalls Economic Growth


June 17, 2006: In the last week, police  in the southeast clashed with Biafra separatists several times, and in one case seven separatists were killed and  two armored vehicles destroyed. About twenty members of MASSOB (Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra) have been arrested. Last Fall, seven MASSOB leaders were charged with treason. The government fears that the separatist group could spark another civil war, like the one in the 1960s that left over a million dead. 


June 13, 2006: Despite by the democratically elected officials, a recent survey indicates the public believes crime and corruption have increased since 1999. 


June 12, 2006: Once more, the government has agreed, after much pressure from the UN,  to withdraw its troops from the disputed (with neighboring Cameroon) Bakassi Peninsula. An international court agreed with Cameroon, but Nigeria refused to withdraw from the area, mainly because of the oil deposits, and thousands of Nigerians who had moved in. Last Summer, the government, under public pressure, backed off from it's agreement to withdraw. It's feared that the same thing will happen this time. 


June 10, 2006: Increased attacks by political and criminal gangs against the Delta oil facilities has shut down some 800,000 barrels a day of production. That's about $55 million a day ($20 billion a year), and enough of a loss to sharply reduce national economic growth. The biggest problem is the kidnapping, which is making it difficult for the oil companies to get people to man hundreds of isolated facilities.




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