Nigeria

Oil prices surge: vindication is tedious

Well, we hate to say "We told you so," but... We told you so. We've been told for the past several years now that the depressed oil prices were permanent, that thanks to fracking and the surge in US domestic production, the price was now immune to Middle East instability, dramatic spikes and "oil shocks" forever banished. Well, futures for Brent crude just hit $63.37 per barrel, with the spot price for West Texas Intermediate at $57.34. (Panorama.am, Investing.com) Creeping toward the $100 per barrel we were so recently assured was a thing of the past. OilPrice.com blames Trump's announcement that the US will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which has of course unleashed unrest in the Palestinian territories and instability fears across the Middle East. But the jump really began almost exactly a month ago, seemingly prompted by the leadership purge in Saudi Arabia. That brought the Brent crude price up to $62, its highest level since July 2015. (The Guardian, Nov. 6)

Nigeria: Biafra headed for new genocide?

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

At least four persons were said to have been killed when troops from the Nigerian Army broke into the Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

four persons were said to have been killed when troops from the Nigerian Army broke into the Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/At least AAtt

At least four were killed when Nigerian army troops raided the home of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in Umuahia, Abia state, Sept. 14. Unconfirmed reports put the number of dead in the raid as high as 22, and it is unclear if Kanu himself was captured, killed or escaped. The raid comes two days after what local media called a "communal clash" between IPOB militants and ethnic Hausa residents in Oyigbo, Rivers state, leaving an undetermined number of casualties. A media representative of President Muhammadu Buhari's office issued a statement claiming a "deliberate and sinister agenda by IPOB to provoke soldiers into killing innocent people," charging the group with "accusing the government of ethnic cleansing against Igbos...for the sole purpose of gaining sympathy."

Niger: army massacres displaced peasants

Niger's army on July 6 killed at least 14 displaced persons who were apparently mistaken for jihadists in the restive southeast, where Boko Haram militants have staged regular attacks. Soldiers were patrolling a militarily restricted zone around the village of Abadam near Lake Chad when they opened fire on what turned out to be unarmed peasants. Yahaya Godi, official in charge of the Diffa region, said: "Any individual seen in the area is considered Boko Haram." Thousands of people have been displaced from the southeastern Diffa region, and civilians have been banned from many areas in response to raids by Boko Haram from across the border in Nigeria. Many, however, have been returning to their lands to tend their crops, fearing hunger and permanent displacement.

UN moves to outlaw nuclear weapons in 2017

The UN on Oct. 27 adopted a resolution—hailed by disarmament campaigners as an important landmark—to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. The resolution was approved at a meeting of the First Committee of the General Assembly, which deals with disarmament and international security matters. A total of 123 nations voted in favor of the resolution, with 38 voting against and 16 abstaining. The resolution will set up a UN conference beginning in March next year, open to all member states, to negotiate a "legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination." Among the 57 co-sponsors of the resolution, Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa took the lead.

Nigeria: pogroms target Shi'ites

Shops and homes belonging to Shi'ite Muslims in Nigeria's Kaduna state were destroyed by rampaging mobs in a wave of attacks that spread across several towns Oct. 15. The attacks, which came as Shi'ites were celebrating their Ashura religious festival, were reported from the towns of Tudun Wada, Ungwan Muazu and Kabala West. A Shi'ite religious school was also destroyed in Tudun Wada earlier in the week. Human Rights Watch blamed Kaduna state authorities for enflaming an atmosphere of intolerance by persecuting Shi'ites in appeasement of local Sunni fundamentalist sentiment. HRW stated that "the move to ban the Shia umbrella body, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), by the Kaduna State government appears to have triggered a wave of discrimination and violence against Shia elsewhere in the country." (ABNA, Information Nigeria, Premium Times, Nigeria, Oct. 15)

US builds regional drone base in Niger

The US is building a military air base in Niger that will be capable of deploying drones to police the greater Sahara and Sahel regions. The US already has a presence in the capital Niamey, where it shares an airbase with with French troops from the anti-Islamist Operation Barkhane. The new facility, in the central city of Agadez, will give Washington greater ability to use drones against Islamist extremists in neighboring Libya, Mali and Nigeria. A Pentagon representative confirmed the US has agreed to pay for a new runway and "associated pavements, facilities and infrastructure," estimating the cost at $50 million. But The Intercept, which broke the story, said it is projected to cost twice that. The news site reports that it has obtained files indicating the project is considered "the most important US military construction effort in Africa," and will be completed in 2017. (BBC News, Sept. 29)

Cameroon: 'horrific' abuses in Boko Haram fight

More than 1,000 are being held in horrific conditions, facing disease, malnutrition and torture, as part of Cameroon's crackdown on Boko Haram, Amnesty International charges in a new report. Entitled "Right cause, wrong means: Human rights violated and justice denied in Cameroon's fight against Boko Haram," the report details how the military offensive has resulted in widespread rights violations against civilians in the Far North region of the country. "In seeking to protect its population from the brutality of Boko Haram, Cameroon is pursuing the right objective; but in arbitrarily arresting, torturing and subjecting people to enforced disappearances the authorities are using the wrong means," said Alioune Tine, Amnesty's West and Central Africa regional director. "With hundreds of people arrested without reasonable suspicion that they have committed any crime, and people dying on a weekly basis in its overcrowded prisons, Cameroon's government should take urgent action to keep its promise to respect human rights while fighting Boko Haram."

Niger Delta militants step up pipeline attacks

Presumed militants of the Niger Delta Avengers struck four pipelines in three days, halting production at key facilities. On May 25, militants blew up a pipeline at Chevron's Escravos facility in Delya state, shutting down all the company's onshore activities in the Niger Delta. The following day, militants hit a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline at the Batan oil-field in Warri, Delta state. The day after that, pipelines operated by Shell and Agip in neighboring Bayelsa state were blown up. The NDA had days earlier warned Chevron that no repairs should be carried out on facilities previously targeted by the group, until their demands are fully met. NDA claimed on its official website May 11 that it suspected Chevron was preparing to carry out repair works at the Okan Valve platform, which was blown up by the group at the start of the month. Among its demands, NDA wants to "free the people of the Niger Delta from environmental pollution, slavery and oppression," according to a statement on the group's site. A May 31 deadline had been set for oil companies to quit the Niger Delta. (This Day, May 29; APPunch, Nigeria, May 28; Channels Television, Nigeria, Chemical Engineer, May 27; RigZone, May 26; Sahara Reports, May 25)

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