Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Delta Force: Power, War and Money in Nigeria’s South-South

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on July 31, 2016

TompoloPeace in the Niger Delta – bought in 2009 with an amnesty programme for militants – is currently faltering. Formerly armed youths have seen their leaders like Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo (picture) getting rich through government contracts and security services. But the causes of the deep and multidimensional crisis in the Delta have not been tackled. Attacks of a new group, the Niger Delta Avengers, shut down oil production dramatically. Read in my text published by Konkret 7/16 here (German, pdf).

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Nigeria: The Big Clean-Up

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on April 3, 2016

The Nigerian army and its international allies succeeded during the past months in repelling the jihadists of Boko Haram. The terror group seems delibitated. In the meantime, the government published a report on corruption in the security sector. It mentions more than 300 firms and individuals accused of embezzlement in relation to finances designated for the fight against Boko Haram. Read my report in the latest issue of Jungle World or download the page as pdf.

Bourne’s Nigeria: A History of Big Men

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria, Reviews by ruben eberlein on February 10, 2016

bournenigeriaMy review of Richard Bourne’s book on the history of Nigeria was published by Welt-Sichten (pdf here). It offers a firm introduction into the politics and society in the West African state from Lugard’s establishment of the colony till the election victory of Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Bourne’s book is, however, a story of “big men”. Readers looking for an account of everyday life in Nigeria, be it in the Niger Delta or during the Biafra war, will probably be disapppointed.

Terror Without Borders

Posted in African Politics, Cameroon, Chad, Global Africa, Niger, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on December 15, 2015

boko-600x338Here is my latest piece on Boko Haram and its operations in the border region between Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon for Jungle World. The sect is the most deadliest terrorist organisation ahead of the Islamic State. The recent successes of the Nigerian and Cameroon armies in the fight against the jihadists are welcome news, but it takes a decisive shift in development policies vis-à-vis this neglected region in order to defeat Boko Haram.

Boko Haram: Our Job is to Shoot, Slaughter and Kill

Posted in African Politics, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on August 31, 2015

Read my text about the fight against the terrorists of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Many Nigerians have high hopes that the country’s new president, Mohammadu Buhari, is better prepared to defeat the Islamists than his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan. But while Buhari seeks military aid in the US, there are new damaging allegations by Amnesty International (AI) against the army. According to a report by AI, 7.000 men and boys died in custody between 2010 and 2014. 1.200 people are said to be killed unlawfully by the soldiers. The article was published by Blätter des Informationszentrums 3. Welt. You can download it here as pdf.

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Nigeria: Committed to the Caliph

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on April 17, 2015

1505TitelJungleYet another text about Boko Haram, its declaration of loyalty to the Islamic State and the fight against the Jihadists for Jungle World. This issue of the weekly deals with African Islamists from Nigeria to Somalia. Not only the terror of the Islamists is internationalising, so does the counter-insurgency. You can download the page of my report here.

Elections in Nigeria: Fifth Time Lucky

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on April 9, 2015

For Jungle World, the weekly newspaper from Berlin, I wrote a text about the elections in Nigeria that appeared in its latest issue. It is a summary of the results that brought Muhammadu Buhari into power – after four unsuccessful attempts. I describe the challenges of the new government and report about national and international reactions. Read it here as html or download the pdf of the page here.

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Nigeria: Out of Control

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on March 3, 2015

titel03_start-27aa41c0This text deals with the background of Boko Haram’s terror in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. It appeared in the current issue of Konkret magazine. I had a short interview with Murray Last who researches societies in Northern Nigeria for five decades now. “To be truthful, no one knows exactly what’s up either within Boko Haram or within the army. So there’s a mountain of speculation out there. If, as a journalist you wanted to visit Boko Haram, you’d not get far – they don’t want, nor need, such visitors, neither Nigerian ones nor foreigners”, he comments. You can download the article as pdf.

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Nigeria: Before the Elections

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on February 27, 2015

nigeriaelectionRead my article about Nigeria’s situation shortly before the elections which have been postponed to end of March. Not only Boko Haram poses a real danger for a smooth election, but also politicians who arm groups of followers and use them as violent enforcers. Will a new (or not so new) leadership have real consequences for Nigerian “democrazy”? I doubt it. However, the time of elections offers young and able men and women for a short time the possibility to earn some Naira extra. You can download a pdf of the text here.

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Nigeria: Boko Haram Exacerbates Its Terror Against Civilians

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on February 22, 2014

BokoHaramThe Islamist sect Boko Haram intensifies its attacks in the North of Nigeria. Not much is known about the structure of the organisation. Read an English version of my text for Jungle World here.

The assailants arrived late afternoon in the small town Konduga near Maiduguri in the Northeast of Nigeria. Mallam Baba Abubakar, an inhabitant of Konduga told the Nigerian daily Vanguard of two armoured personnel carriers, five pick-ups painted in the camouflage colors of the army and five motorcyles. (more…)