USIP's David Smock explores the factors underlying and perpetuating the militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In this report, based on an 11-day trip to Nigeria in late August 2009, Smock analyzes the prospects for the amnesty process, and why stronger political processes and economic development could help address the roots of the conflict there.

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Summary

Smock analyzes the prospects for the current amnesty process, the fallout of the May 2009 government offensive against a faction of a militant group, and the roles of civil society as well as regional politics play in the Niger Delta. The report -- based on an 11-day trip to Nigeria Smock and other specialists took in late August 2009 -- also looks at the unique problems caused by the oil industry and the poor financial distribution of the industry’s proceeds to the local population. Finally, Smock examines why a stronger political process and economic development could work to reduce conflict there, and how the international community could play a better role in addressing the problems.

About the Author

This USIPeace Briefing was written by David Smock, vice president of the Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at the United States Institute of Peace and associate vice president of the Religion and Peacemaking program, one of the Centers of Innovation.

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