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US Concerns Increase Over Nigeria Terror Attacks

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The Warning covered luxury hotels in the Capital of Abuja. However the attacks that were launched within the last 24 Hours did not target Western Targets but like the prior attacks targeted the Security Establishment.

The Other Day the Nigerian Military stated that the United States will be providing Military Assistance. This could mean anytime now that the President may decide to send more Special Forces to Africa. In this case that country could be Nigeria. And with this being Veteran’s Day weekend this deployment could happen without people paying attention to it.

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If this deployment is made what rationale could be used to give it a sense of legitimacy? An easy one is to look for the missing anti-aircraft missiles from Libya. There was a sizable force of Nigerian Mercenaires that fought for Qadaffi in the last days of his regime. Could some of these weapons have found their way into Nigeria? Another is Boko Haram itself. Could this group take advantage of the Internal situation in a neighbor that had a recent controversial election? Like Cameroon? It is not that much of a strategic leap for this action to be taken by Boko Haram. Tensions are simmering in Cameroon after these elections so ifthey decide to exploit it for their own gain……

Yesterday the State Department called for Calm during the upcoming Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The UN Joint Human Rights Office has documented 188 Violations to the Electoral Process between November 2010 through September of this year.

There has been a reported increase in attacks against Journalists and members of Opposition Parties as well. In another interesting move the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court called upon all parties in the Election to refrain from violence.

Cargill has announced plans to invest $3 Million into the Cocoa Sector in Ivory Coast. Will this affect the Cocoa Market in neighboring Ghana? Speaking of Ghana yesterday CSIS had a program covering this Marvel in Africa. There are a couple of factors that could inhibit future growth such as a weak manufacturing sector and poor infrastructure when it comes to Electricity. however the Oil and Gold Industries could help out.

Recent Events in Africa have compelled the United States to issue not one but two travel warnings. The First one is in Kenya. It appears that the Kenyan incursion into Somalia has been yielding results. So much so that there is a general concern of reprisal attacks in Kenya. The State Department has issued the first warning for Americans travelling or doing business in the Country.

The second warning concerns Nigeria. Over the weekend Boko Haram launched another series of attacks around Jos. At least 150 People were killed in a coordinated series of attacks that destroyed a Police Barracks and other government facilities. The new warning from the US concerns Luxury Hotels and the potential that they are a future target of these Militants.

The situation in Nigeria should be a major concern for those who follow US Policy for several reasons. The first and obvious one is the militancy of Boko Haram. Their attacks have raised concerns as they believe that Democracy has harmed Nigeria. One of their favorite targets besides Government institutions has been the Christian Community around the city of Jos. Both communities have been engaged in a tit for tat series of attacks and reprisals for some time now and it appears that there is no end in sight.

The Political Situation should also raise another area of concern for US strategy. This is in Energy Supplies aka Oil. An estimated 27% of the Oil imported by the United States originates from Nigeria. So any potential interruption could impact the economy. Also Nigeria is a key player in how the US conducts policy in Africa. When General Ham spoke in Washington last month He stated the contacts AFRICOM has with the Nigerian Military. Also Nigeria is the driving force behind ECOWAS as well. So a stable Nigeria is in the vital interests of the United States.

Here is something that can be construed as being positive. The Gambian Opposition is sending a delegation here to Washington for “consultations”. The Elections in Gambia are scheduled to be run the same week as those in the DRC. However the Congolese Elections have been generating lots of Press Coverage due to various concerns while the interest in the Gambian elections has been non-existent in comparison.

It appears that there has been violence at an Opposition Party protest in Liberia. This is occurring the day before the Presidential Runoff. Considering the ties between the US and Liberia historically one can only wonder how the Administration will react to this crisis.

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