Nigeria: November 25, 2003

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The Rivers State Governor condemned an outbreak of local violence between different "cult" groups that left 20 people dead in Port Harcourt City and it's suburbs. He promised that the state government would do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice. A member of the Nigerian House of Representatives has even advocated deploying the Nigerian armed forces for peace time duties curbing armed robbery. He somewhat cynically pointed out that since the military didn't have proper peacetime duties assigned to it, the Nigerian government was ever so willing to dispatch them to any peacekeeping operation in any part of the world. Apparently, the government is wary of deploying troops inside the country since there's a temptation that they would take that as an opportunity to meddle in civilian affairs.

While Nigeria still has the appearance of a unified country, there are plenty of brewing feuds and private armies that would gladly snap up illicit ammunition stockpiles. For instance, the governor of Anambra State accused the Federal Government of using the Federal police to destabilize the state. Apparently, the governor's estranged political godfather has been pulling strings to intimidate him, which has inspired the governor to start talking about forming his own state police force. - Adam Geibel

 

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