Tag: nigeria

India’s xenophobia shame


India (NI) – Hitting Indian headlines right now are stories that fill all decent Indians with sadness and shame. Periodically, recently, we’ve had ugly racist attacks on people ‘not like us’. We’ve always had caste-based prejudice and communal clashes (read: Hindu-Muslim…

Is the End of Boko Haram in Sight?

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced Saturday that the last refuge of the African terrorist organization and Islamic State affiliate Boko Haram has fallen to Nigerian troops.

The remnants of the terrorist organization were surrounded over the weekend in their final refuge, “camp zero” in the Sambisa forest in northern Nigeria. President Buhari congratulated the troops on a “long awaited” victory and the “final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave.”

Although this news means that Boko Haram has lost out on the area of land they held, it is probably not necessarily the end of their dangerous ideology. Much like the Islamic State organization that Boko Haram leaders pledged allegiance to in 2015; taking their physical territory may just prove to make the group turn to more violent tactics of insurgency.

Mass rapes to mass protests: violence against women in 2016

Impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Donald Trump hasn’t helped.

From historic convictions to impunity for gang rapes, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows when it comes to efforts to stem violence against women.

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10) are a time to take stock of progress and failings in combatting this pervasive human rights abuse.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reached its first conviction for sexual violence. It found a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, guilty of rape, murder, and pillage in neighbouring Central African Republic. Bemba was found guilty under the concept of “command responsibility,” in which civilian and military superiors can be held criminally liable for crimes committed by troops under their control.

‘Immediate action’ needed as millions in north-eastern Nigeria face food insecurity – UN

Warning that ongoing unrest and rising inflation have left more than five million people in restive north-east Nigeria facing acute food insecurity, the United Nations agriculture agency today appealed for $25 million through May 2017 to support irrigated vegetable production and micro-gardening in the dry season, as well as rebuild livestock systems.

In a situation update, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the urgently needed funds would tackle food insecurity among returnee, internally displaced and host communities. In addition, the agency is seeking funds now to provide critical agricultural inputs to farmers in time for the 2017 main rainy season.

Country profile: Nigeria

There is a joke sometimes told about the self-styled ‘Giant of Africa’. It is said that when other countries complained to God about the many blessings bequeathed to Nigeria in the form of natural resources, he replied: ‘Wait till you see the people I put there.’

Over 55 years after it gained independence from Britain, Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation – still grapples with basic problems such as unsafe drinking water, inadequate healthcare and bad roads. These are problems the country should have been able to solve, given the plethora of resources – notably, abundant oil reserves – at its disposal. Instead, when it was recently revealed that Nigeria still imports toothpicks and pencils, and spends about two billion naira a day on importing rice, there was no sense of popular surprise. Nor was it exactly a revelation when the World Bank reported recently that the country’s private sector is constrained by unreliable electricity supplies, poor access to finance, and corruption.

Corruption, in particular, has been endemic. Many link this to the oil resources that should have enabled Nigeria to leap over the hurdles facing the more impoverished nations of West Africa. Oil exports began in 1958, just before independence, but it was the 1970s boom in oil prices that led the country effectively to put all its economic eggs in one basket. Over the years, this ‘black gold’ has arguably been a curse rather than a blessing. Many consider that it has led to the brazen theft of government revenues and fostered a culture of laziness. The ongoing trial of former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki for mis­appropriating $2.1 billion has revealed that people from all parts of the country took a cut out of this corrupt deal.