Monday, September 30, 2013

Nigeria signs $1.3 bn power plant deal with China

2013-09-30 from "AFP" newswire []:
Abuja -
Nigeria has announced two major initiatives aimed at improving its woeful electricity supply, entering a $1.3 billion (960 million euros) power plant deal with China and on Monday handing over state power assets to private investors.
 The privatisation of most of state electricity firm PHCN has long been in the works in Africa's most populous nation, where blackouts occur multiple times daily despite the country's status as the continent's largest oil producer.
 Those taking over assets include Seoul-based Korea Electric Power Corporation as well as local investors.
 Separately, the deal with the Chinese government involves construction of a hydroelectric plant expected to add 700 megawatts to the national grid.
 A loan from China's Export-Import Bank will pay for 75 percent of the plant while the Nigerian government will cover 25 percent of the cost, a statement by the finance ministry said.
 It is not clear if the new plant will remain in state hands or if it too will be privatised.
 Hundreds of PHCN workers and retirees on Monday staged protests in several parts of the country against the take-over of the company when the government has not paid all of them their severance financial benefits.
 Some of them chanting slogans and carrying placards told AIT private television that they would not allow the investors to enter PHCN premises until the monies have been paid.
 "We are ready to be sleeping here until they pay us," one of the protesters, Ganiyu Adegboye, told the television.
 They locked up the entrances to PHCN's two main offices in Lagos, AIT footage showed.
 Nigeria has portrayed the privatisation of electricity generation and distribution as a reform capable of finally bringing steady power supplies to the country, where businesses are forced to rely on diesel generators to cope.
 President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday handed over operating licences to investors for most of the companies created from the splitting up of the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
 Jonathan, at a brief ceremony also attended by top government officials, ceded ownership of four of the six generation companies and 10 of the 11 distribution firms after raking in about $2.5 billion from their bids.
 A power generation firm not part of PHCN was also handed over, while various issues are yet to be resolved for the two other generation firms and one distribution firm.
 Nigeria will retain ownership of the national grid, but privatise its management. Canada's Manitoba Hydro International was named its manager for three years in 2012 "Today, therefore, not only concludes legal transactions, it is a day of hope, a day of promise and a new beginning for one of the most vital sectors of our national economy," Jonathan said.
 "We do not expect the sector to be revitalised overnight but we can all look forward to a better time very soon as we have seen in the telecommunications and banking sectors."
 Government said that only about 2,000 of the 47,000 PHCN workers were yet to be paid their terminal allowances.
 The privatisation of telecommunications in Nigeria is generally credited with bringing improved service and accessibility to the country.
 However, critics have expressed concerns that many of the bidders for power assets have been politically connected barons in Nigeria and questioned whether the assets will be properly managed.

Friday, September 27, 2013

China wins $2 billion oil deal in Uganda

2013-09-27 by Staff Writers (AFP) []:
Kampala -
China's state-owned CNOOC has secured a $2-billion deal to develop a petroleum field in Uganda and help propel the east African nation into the club of oil-producing countries, an official said Friday.   
"This is a major breakthrough as a country," Uganda's junior energy minister Peter Lokeris told AFP, confirming that a deal had been reached earlier this month with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.    
"It is a milestone towards making us self-sustaining as far as oil and gas production is concerned," he added.    
"The contractor among other responsibilities will be responsible for developing the Kingfisher oil field which should become operational in the next four years from now," the minister added.    
Uganda has oil reserves estimated at 3.5 billion barrels but the path to production has been a bumpy one since deposits were discovered in 2006 near its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.    
Such reserves have the potential to radically alter Uganda's economy and could eventually as much as double the national income.    
Lokeris said he expected the initial output of the new Chinese-run field to be modest.    
"We expect to produce about 40,000 barrels of oil per day once the Kingfisher well is fully developed and operational," he said.    
China has invested heavily in Africa's oil sector to feed its energy-hungry economy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

USA & Israel in Kenya targeting militants

The Alliance of the USA, the British (Empire) Commonwealth, and Israel created al-Qaeda during the 1970s, to be used against governments they didn't like, with funding and weapons going to al-Qaeda affiliated militias during the wars against Iraq and Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Russia during the 2000s, and Syria during 2013.
In the USA, the al-Qaeda threat is used by security companies and agencies to advocate for increased surveillance and harassment of ALL political dissidents, and for the increase in militerization funding for police.
In the following examples, a violent incident by an al-Qaeda affiliate at a shopping mall in eastern Alkebulan (Africa) is being used as an excuse for Israel and USA military attacks in the region, with increased surveillance and security at shopping malls worldwide.

"Israeli forces enter Nairobi mall: Kenyan security officials"
2013-09-22 from "Press TV" []: A Kenyan security official says Israeli forces have entered a shopping mall in the capital, Nairobi, where Somali militants have already killed dozens of people and an unknown number of hostages are still being held.      
Local security officials say the Israeli forces have joined Kenyans to end the deadly mall siege on Sunday. The Kenyan troops backed by Israeli forces are now battling against gunmen holding dozens of people hostage inside the shopping mall for the second day.    
"The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," media outlets quoted an unnamed senior Kenyan security source as saying.    
Kenyan military spokesman noted that a large number of well-equipped forces are fighting the assailants that attacked the mall, killing nearly 60 people and injuring some 200 more.    
"We are still battling with the attackers and our forces have managed to maroon the attackers on one of the floors," said Colonel Cyrus Oguna, adding, "We hope to bring this to an end today."   
There are reports of sporadic gunfire inside the mall as Kenyan forces try to kill or capture the remaining 10 to 15 gunmen who are holding about 70 people hostage.    
The carnage on Saturday started when gunmen stormed the Westgate Mall in an upscale neighborhood, throwing hand grenades and indiscriminately firing at people.    
Somalia’s al-Shabab fighters have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.    
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says he has lost family members in the deadly attack. He also vowed to bring perpetrators and attackers to justice for targeting innocent civilians    
"Let me make it clear. We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get them. We shall punish them for this heinous crime,” Kenyatta said in a televised address to the nation late Saturday.   
The attack was the worst in Nairobi since an al-Qaeda bombing at the US Embassy killed over 200 people in 1998.

"Report: US military to hit targets in Kenya, other African states"
2013-09-23 from "Press TV" []: The United States is reportedly preparing a list of targets for possible military strikes in Kenya and some other African countries.      
Former US general Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said the strikes are aimed at targeting militants involved in Sunday's deadly attack on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi.    
Somalia’s Al-Shabab fighters have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is in retaliation for Kenya’s military actions inside Somalia.    
"They're developing targets . . . and refining target lists, trying to fill in any gaps that we possibly have," the former four-star general said during an interview with ABC's This Week on Sunday.    
"Intelligence has been gathered and will continue to be gathered to fill in any holes that we have about what happened in this particular attack and what could happen in the future," Gen. Chiarelli added.    
Chiarelli described the situation as “very chaotic” and added that US military officials are doing everything they can to gather information.    
He, however, refused to elaborate how and with what means the US forces or their allies will target the group’s hideouts in Kenya.    
This as Kenyan security sources in Nairobi revealed that Israel has sent its special forces to Kenya to fight with the militants at Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall, according to an AFP report.    
The report added that Israeli commandoes were airlifted to the east African country just after the start of the attack.

"Nairobi attack may trigger tighter security at malls worldwide"
2013-09-22 by Ilaina Jonas and Mark Hosenball from "Reuters" newswire []: The deadly attack on a high-end Nairobi shopping mall on Saturday put the safety of malls around the world into the spotlight and could trigger moves to improve security and make it more visible.   
"They're obviously going to ramp up security," said Malachy Kavanagh, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, a U.S.-based trade group of mall and shopping center owners, adding that he expected the U.S. government's Department of Homeland Security to reach out to the heads of corporate security for all American malls following the events in Kenya.   
Some of the changes that may be made include bringing in off-duty police officers into the mall, putting more non-uniformed security officers into uniform, and more closely coordinating with local police departments.   
Islamist militants were holding hostages on Sunday at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 68 people were killed and 175 wounded in an attack by Somalia's al Shabaab group. Those killed included Kenyans, Dutch, British and Chinese citizens and diplomats from Canada and Ghana. Some U.S. citizens were wounded, though the final toll is still far from clear.   
The Westgate mall has several Israeli-owned outlets and is frequented by prosperous Kenyans and foreigners.   
"Shopping centers and retailers will have to spend more money on security," Irwin Barkan, CEO of African mall developer BGI LLC, said in a phone interview from Ghana where he is based. BGI, based in the U.S., is developing properties in West Africa.   
"I hope it doesn't get to the point where it is like getting into an airport," Barkan said ahead of a trip to Nairobi for the African Hotel Investment Forum this week.   
Kavanagh said that U.S. shoppers have indicated they do not want to go through this type of security line with metal detectors and other security machines.   
Following the attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, the trade group surveyed mall shoppers about their views on such ideas. "Unless there was an immediate threat, by and large they said 'no'," he said.   

U.S. counter-terrorism officials and experts have privately expressed worries for years - since even before the September 11, 2001 attacks - that U.S. shopping malls and other public spaces, including public transport systems, were vulnerable to attacks.   
Juan Zarate, a former White House counter-terrorism advisor and author of "Treasury's War", a new book on the subject, told Reuters that one of the major concerns for counter-terrorism officials is that there could be imitators of this type of "soft target" attack.   
"Like the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, terrorist cells are learning that they can have strategic impact with dramatic terror focused on soft targets having significant psychological and economic effects," Zarate said.    In November 2008, 10 gunmen went on a three-day killing spree in Mumbai, attacking two luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish center, among other places in the Indian city.   
In the United States, a source at one of the biggest mall owners said that the company is constantly focused on safety and security, not just after events such as the one in Kenya. The source said that shoppers can see some elements of security, while others are not visible.   
Dan Jasper, a spokesman for Mall of America, a large private mall in Bloomington, Minnesota, said in a statement that "We constantly monitor events and adjust plans accordingly. The safety and security of our guests remains a top priority."   
Westfield America declined comment, saying that it does not comment on security. Australia's Westfield Group owns nearly 100 shopping centers in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. Simon Property Group, the largest owner of U.S. mall and outlet centers and owner of outlets in Canada, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and Mexico, also declined to comment.

Monday, September 16, 2013

AfriCom and the kleptocratic governments of western Alkebulan (Africa)

"War on ‘terror’: Africom, the kleptocratic state and under-class militancy in West Africa-Nigeria"
by Caroline Ifeka, published in the CONCERNED AFRICA SCHOLARS BULLETIN N°85 - SPRING 2010 []:
Caroline Ifeka is an Honorary Research Fellow, Dept of Anthropology, University College London. She has lived in Nigeria and Cameroon since 1990, worked for NGOs, written many development reports for donors as well as community organisations, carried out and published numerous articles about her anthropological field research in Nigeria and Cameroon on ritual in identity and social construction, resource conflict, youth violence and the kleptocratic State.
Following the article are the Acknowledgements, Acronyms, Notes, and References.
"The aim is no longer to transform the world, but (as the heresies did in their day) to radicalise the world by sacrifice. Whereas the system aims to realize it by force." — Baudrillard (2002: 10)

Abstract -
The US, EU and Chinese compete to control strategic resources (oil, bauxite, uranium, subterranean water) in the Sahara, Sahel and proximate semi-arid zones as northern Nigeria, home of the young suicide bomber who failed to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 252 over Detroit in December 2009 (Note 1). US-NATO commands in Stuttgart and Brussels prosecute the ‘War on Terror’ to securitize ‘dangerous’ West African Muslim states (and quietly manoeuvre leases to exploit resources vital to US and EU capital accumulation).
The principal cause of growing youth militancy mobilising around ethnicity and Islamic reformism is the ruling class’s failure to ‘share’ the ‘dividends of democracy’ — e.g. rental incomes from ‘traditional’ community owned strategic resources as oil, gas, gold, bauxite, uranium, water — according to subaltern clients’ expectations. So the under-class experiences as ‘bad’ the ‘democratic’ West African State’s governance. Failed expectations are reflected in some radical elements’ readiness to sacrifice their lives in fighting the war machine — sheer force — of the repressive State [Note 2]. ‘Bad’ governance is the consequence not of corruption but of clientelism, that is informal political relations greased by money between patrons/‘big men’ and clients/‘small boys’; this largely illegal system of power and patronage generates venality and violence, but not as yet real terrorism (Obi 2006) [Note 3]. Ironically, Islamic militants (northern Nigeria) and ethnic sovereignty movements (southern Nigeria, northern Niger, northern Mali) drawing on subaltern discontent share with international donors the same objective of securing ‘good’ (i.e. just, efficient, clean) governance, though under-class devout Muslim youth define good governance not in donors’ secular terms but in regard to Quranic precepts. The US military command for Africa (AFRICOM) and international aid practitioners target corruption as the cause of ‘dangerous’ under-development; they strengthen security agencies and hand out anti-corruption funds that the ruling classes mis-appropriate. The militarization of ‘development’ will succeed only, as elsewhere (e.g., Afghanistan), in nourishing the growth of real terrorism among, for example, Nigeria’s estimated 40-60 million largely unemployed youth and ethnic minorities.
A more peaceful strategy than US reliance on resource control by force is ECOWAS community capacity building. Subaltern classes could be empowered to strengthen management of traditional resources and land in strategic locations developed as hubs of sustainable economic growth and justice reform at the magistrate, native court, and Shari‘a court levels [Note 4]. Improvements in the local economy, governance and justice delivery as part of planned institution building for socially inclusive growth with equity could diminish subaltern discontent and encourage currently disempowered majorities to challenge peacefully the kleptocratic State’s reliance on force to ‘resolve’ political conflicts with and among citizens.

Introduction -
West Africa was of secondary military-economic interest to the US in the mid-1990s, compared to North Africa (Libya) and the Horn of Africa, but continuing difficulties in Middle Eastern oil supplies encouraged the US to seek petroleum providers elsewhere — the Caucasus, the south Atlantic ocean, and West Africa’s oil rich Gulf of Guinea states, especially Nigeria. Twenty years ago China was just beginning to prospect in West Africa for business and construction contracts, and so was not viewed then as a serious contender for access to and control over important African resources as oil and gas (Obi 2008) [Note 5]. Today, nearly 750,000 Chinese are resident in Africa; 300 million emigrants to Africa may be planned (Michel and Beuret 2009: 4-5). The terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001, opened US eyes to the strategic advantage of relatively ‘safer’ West and West-Central African, especially Nigerian, sources of high quality crude oil rapidly transportable across the Atlantic ocean to refineries in populous cities on the North American eastern industrial seaboard. This major shift in US policy regarding West Africa took place at a time when arms sales by the world’s top arms exporters — the US, Russia and Germany — rose by a further 22% between 2005-2010 (Norton-Taylor 2010).
Since 2001 renewed religious riots, outbursts of alleged ‘terrorism’ in the Sahara-Sahel and northern Nigeria, and militant threats to African oil exports have spurred the US to establish US African Command (AFRICOM) in collaboration with NATO’s Special Forces (Keenan 2009). From 2006 onwards the US has carried out military and naval exercises in selected African states, including the Cape Verde archipelago proximate to oil blocks off Senegal, targeted for leasing to US Multi-national Corporations (MNCs). AFRICOM was fully operational from 2008 (AFRICOM 2009; AFROL 2009a).
The Pentagon appears to be intensifying plans in 2010, partnering with selected West African states (e.g. Senegal, Cape Verde, Ghana, Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe, Mali, Niger), for further military exercises, training programmes and sales at discounted prices of modern fighter aircraft, automatic machine guns, and possible robotic aerial vehicles (US AFRICOM 2010). AFRICOM has in view certain locations in northern (e.g. Kano, Bornu, Bauchi, Yobe, Jos, Kaduna states), and southern Nigeria, principally the Niger Delta core oil producing states (Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta) as well as Lagos, the country’s sprawling commercial capital — estimated population 15 million, headquarters of MNC oil corporations, banks, and major Nigerian companies as Dangote Ltd and new light industries in partnership with Chinese companies.
Militarisation is taking place in selected West African states whose pre-industrial economies are still geared, as in the colonial era, to export raw materials with little value added to the advantage of Western and Asian industrialised economies. For example, partial modernisation in Nigeria reflects the country’s status as a rentier state relying on oil revenues (Karl 1997). Its late emergence in the 1970s as West Africa’s potential industrial power was aborted by a military regime in the mid-1980s, following pressure by international financial and trade institutions (e.g. International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation) that West African states remove tariff barriers on consumer and light industrial goods. An emerging Nigerian working class largely lost its economic base in factories producing clothing, shoes, matches, iron and steel products, buses, lorries, etc, that fostered class identity and action.
Abortive economic modernisation in Nigeria, and Francophone Sahelian states as Niger and Mali, seems to have sustained perceived ‘traditional’, i.e. customary community values and identities. Until recently, when mobilising in political protest subalterns did so, by and large, through religious or ethnic, rather than class, identities (c.f. Laclau 1977: 155 ff). Many dissident youth movements based on ‘customary’ ethnic and/or religious identities have a long tradition in rural communities; they seek to reclaim land, water, resource management, rental incomes, and to purify ‘governance’ in favour of just land reform and resource distribution (Parker & Rathbone 2007: 91ff) Yet militant groups may also be referred to locally by globalising tags that suggest community familiarity with struggles elsewhere; for example, northern Nigerian communities nickname Islamic fundamentalists ‘Taliban’ or ‘al-Qaeda’, indicating (hearsay) knowledge of the US ‘War on Terrorism’. Equally, there are stories of politically alienated educated young males training in al-Qaeda camps, though the December 25, 2009, Nigerian (‘Detroit’) suicide bomber’s field training appears inadequate [Note 6].
When resisting repression youth coalesce around kin-based ethno-religious and clan identities that cohere around two dominant poles — ‘us, small people’ (clients) and ‘them, big men’ (patrons/godfathers) (Ifeka 2001b, 2006; Smith 2007). The ‘people’/’power’ opposition draws on a repertoire of customary representations and practices (e.g. initiation rituals, war gods, charms against bullets, juju ‘medicine’, language, religious texts, shrines) that authorise subaltern militant organisation. More recently, since the return to democracy in 1999, the growth of poverty and shared meanings of suffering, and on-going political violence between rulers and ruled, is contributing to a revival of representations of class identity and consciousness that elderly working men, peasant farmers, traders, teachers and petty clerks knew in the 1970s [Note 7].
Adopting a political economy approach, I disaggregate that over-used neo-liberal concept of ‘the people’ into social classes; that is, groups differentiated by their unequal relationship to the means of production (capital) and power as owners/workers, but who yet express their socio-political worlds through customary institutions of patron-clientship. For example, subalterns and rulers construct the social formation in terms of unequal relations of power expressed in terms of relations between client (subordinate) and patron (dominant)– almost everyone is a patron and/or a client to someone else. Clientelistic relations cross cut but do not erase economic class divisions: for instance, on one level ministers and senior civil servants in command of the state and its revenues are the top patrons or men of mega-power, those lacking such access are their clients, but on another level middle ranking civil servants, company administrators, junior army officers are themselves patrons to many lesser others. Thus, power relations between patrons and clients defined in terms of upward and downwards informal and illicit flows of money/services constitute the country’s ‘real’ political economy (Joseph 1987; Ifeka 2001a, 2006, 2009; c.f. Laclau 1977). Fundamentalist religious movements or ethnic nationalists may draw on a mix of ‘traditional’ cultural symbols as well as those of economic inequality (‘big’/‘small’ men) to express under-class frustration and a strong desire, backed by force, for cleaner, more just governance with improved ‘dividends of democracy’ for the masses.

The ‘Terrorist’ Threat -
‘Terrorism’ is a terrifying condition of existence, one that normalises violence and so destroys the every day trust that lives are safe and justice prevails. It is often linked to al-Qaeda or the Taliban. We need to ask if ‘terrorism’ in West Africa is a threat or reality.
Just before the terrorist bombings of the Pentagon and World Trade Centre, in 1999-2000 twelve northern Nigerian state governors (Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Yobe, Jigawa, Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Bauchi, Adamawa and Gombe) declared their commitment to the full-blown establishment of Shari‘a law in their states. (There are thirty-six states in Nigeria.) Led by Zamfara state’s governor, they proclaimed the urgent need to sanitise state legal systems that did little or nothing to implement Quranic justice and governance; in two or three years, however, kleptocratic governance ensured that Shari‘a, too, became comatose so Islamist religious sect leaders began preaching again for governance reform and justice according to the Quran.
After twelve northern Nigerian states implemented Shari’a law, different views at home and in US-European metropoles began to be expressed regarding the likelihood of Nigerian ‘terrorism’ in addition to on-going militancy in the oil producing Niger Delta threatening Nigeria’s stability as a core US crude oil supplier. Nigeria holds the largest concentration of US capital in Africa, mainly the result of investment in the past thirty years by the world’s largest multi-national oil corporations, ExxonMobil and TexacoChevron. Together with the UK and Holland’s Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco are aiming to supply 25% of US oil needs, though this goal requires a sustainable resolution of the Niger Delta crisis (Peel 2009; Amanze-Nwachuku 2010) Militancy and perceived terrorism threaten US-EU strategic interests in sustaining MNC capital accumulation.
Opinions about ‘terrorism’ in Nigeria have changed. First, some writers in 2000-04 saw no evidence of al-Qaeda linked terrorist cell penetration of northern Nigeria, nor that terrorist and criminal syndicates trafficking guns, drugs, and people had linked up. Yet in 2003-04 informants in Cross River state, which abuts Rivers (a core Niger Delta state), hinted that some Niger Delta militant youth were in contact with groups elsewhere in Nigeria and beyond; by 2006, I believed that a few ‘restive’ youth in the Delta and the country’s northern regions were exchanging information. Using information technology (IT), militants were moving closer together; some were becoming more frustrated and angry at the ‘selfishness’ of plutocratic politicians, corporate chief executives, military, police and intelligence services in not distributing down the clientelist chain financial profits in stolen state funds and trafficked illegal goods; they were beginning to move beyond ethnic nationalism/religious fundamentalism into a shared sense of under-class alienation from lands, livelihoods and largesse (Ifeka 2006). Equally, information was seeping into northern Nigerian contexts about the plight of the Tuaregs, repressed by the Nigerien state — and probably covertly by the Algerian secret services (Keenan 2006, 2009) — for their aggressive posture in regard to their ethnicity’s claims to customary ownership of land, oasis, subterranean water and uranium resources.
Second, a few authors wrote about the perceived ‘terrorist’ threat posed by forms of Islamisation, including Shar’ia law, to West African security and the US’s need for sustainable energy flows from Nigeria (Volman 2003). Certain commentators began to understand that US policy could be more nuanced, less likely to cause unwanted ‘terrorist’ strikes in North America’s homeland, if the Pentagon took on board that Nigeria’s large Muslim population — in 1998 estimated numerically to be the fifth largest in the world at c. 78 million relative to Indonesia’s c. 196 million (Islamic Web 1998; ABC 2009)— does not exist in a social, cultural or economic and historical vacuum. Rather, Muslims, about 57% of c. 140 million Nigerians in the 2001 Population Census, largely Sunni congregations and brotherhoods leavened by a sprinkling of Sufi adherents, boast historic connections via the ancient trans-Saharan trade routes with the Middle East and North African Maghrib (Parker and Rathbone 2007: 7-8ff). Such historic connections and shared understandings suggest both the possibility of US/Maghribi diplomacy exercised for peace, as well as some radical Ummah states’ support for Islamist fundamentalist cells (dubbed ‘terrorist’ by AFRICOM-NATO) in Nigeria.
Third, other observers inclined to the view that the Federal Republic of Nigeria could split. In 2004 a defence analyst identified Nigeria as a ‘potent mix of communal tensions, radical Islamisation, and anti-Americanism’, in their view fertile grounds for militancy that threatens to tear Nigeria apart (Morrison 2004: 75-8). Late in 2009, another defence analyst advising the US Pentagon, addressed a forum sponsored by the Royal African Society at a University of London institution, and stated that Nigeria could fragment. The Niger Delta ‘crisis’ and the emergent Ijaw ethnic-nation state’s armed struggles against the Nigerian State for at least a 50% share, progressing over time to 100% resource control of their ethnic-nation’s oil and gas, may have been uppermost in his mind.
In my experience, having lived and worked in Nigeria for several decades, I now doubt that ethnic-nationalist or fundamentalist Islamist politicians of the twenty first century will emulate the Igbos in 1966, or Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra in the 1990s, and struggle for secession though this may have been a possibility in the early 2000s (Ifeka 2000a,b, 2001b, 2004). The Nigerian government’s 2009 amnesty with some Nigerian Delta militant organisations was preceded by much carpet crossing of Niger Delta activists; money, sometimes called ‘gratification’ in Nigeria’s clientelistic system, is all; it trumps party and militant loyalty. I also experienced personally in 2008-9 the depth of Nigeria’s ruling political and business class’s commitment to obtaining by any means the dollars with which to maintain vertical chains of ‘chopping’ and ‘sharing’ funds between patrons and clients. Shares must keep well ahead of inflation, so nowadays percentages deducted for ‘commissions’ can top 60% of a contract’s gross value.
‘Money shouts’: Nigerian history shows that at times of political conflict over resource allocation local, state and federal elites can ‘cry wolf’ and declare secession, but since the end of the Biafran civil war (1967-1970), as long as oil and gas flow, and criminal trafficking flourishes, senior level godfathers of whatever state and ethno-religious provenance will mostly shy away from overtly secessionist or ‘terrorist’ struggles. Currently, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is refreshing its call of the early to mid-2000s for total control of all oil and gas revenues, and airing the possibility of secession (Remy 2010). But such actions could weaken, or destroy, personal and sub-ethnic highly lucrative networks in the all-important ‘shadow’ Nigerian political economy of ‘chopping’ on the State’s oil wealth and capitalising on trafficking in illegal goods. Influential clients and patrons of potent families, clans and sub-ethnic groups convert funds of whatever legal/illegal provenance into the financial means with which offspring, younger relatives and trusted clansmen/women sustain emerging dynasties influential in ruling class party politics of accumulation and patrimonial distribution. Flows are ‘protected’ by secretive godfathers, and at times godmothers, closely connected to the State’s security agencies, politicians and criminal networks who rely on force — gunning down protesters and assassinating turncoats – to remove opposition.
Some financial benefits of reducing any perceived ‘terrorist’ threat, and staying on board the ‘chopping’ ship of the Nigerian State, can be quickly sketched. In 2006 the Bayelsa state government (a core oil producing state with an estimated population of over two million Ijaws and some smaller ethnic groups) received its monthly funds from the Federal oil derivation account reportedly to the annual value of $1.954 billion (Economic Confidential 2009). The-then state governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, is known to have racked up about $20 million in stolen assets deposited or invested in properties overseas; though this sum was probably just a tidbit, it was about 10,000 times the daily earnings of governor Alamsaieghya’s humble fisher folk constituents (Peel 2009: 109). To put Bayelsa state’s wealth in context: in 2009 the Northern Governors forum calculated that the three core Niger Delta oil producing states’ annual revenues could fund all nineteen northern states at their current rates of expenditure for one year. At the same time, using financial figures available on the Internet, I have calculated that if expended transparently, according to the national budget approved by the National House of Assembly and President, and not siphoned off, Nigeria’s 2008 annual budget could have funded in that year the approved budgets of over thirty sub-Saharan African states, excluding South Africa, Senegal and some others.
Regarded in terms of its huge oil and gas wealth — generating in 2008 the (under) reported sum of circa $30 billion (Peel 2009) — its rapidly expanding banking systems, populous home market and dominance (with Columbia) of global narco-trafficking, Nigeria is a-typical of other ECOWAS states. But in terms of its deep rooted patrimonial system, kleptocratic governance and shadow (criminal) political economy in narcotics, guns, minerals, fossil fuel resources and people trafficking is typical. Nigeria is an exemplar of the kleptocratic (not terrorist) State, first described by Stanislaw Andreski (1968), a pioneering sociologist of corruption and venal power’s impoverishing impact on under-classes: kleptocracy is a system of state power based on rule by theft and bribery — but I would add violence is equally necessary, because players operate in unregulated shadow trading systems relying on discipline through a mix of trust and force. Penetrated as it is by clientelist and criminal networks, committed to accumulation by any means, the Nigerian State is as yet some way from confronting real terrorism. Yet AFRICOM’s imposed securitization of ‘development’ in partnership with the nation-State is generating renewed militancy against the nation-State’s police, who retaliate with killing force (Abrahamsen 2005).
‘Dual’ political and economic institutions — the formal/legitimate and informal/illegitimate — surely pose a complex challenge to the militaristic mentality that dominates AFRICOM-NATO. Militarism, when prodded, may consider sustainable economic development as a strategic pathway to resolve issues of perceived West African ‘terrorism’ linked to ‘bad’ governance, corruption and violence. But, being of the military, these senior officers are trained to think primarily in terms of top down (undemocratic) solutions of force to what are actually dynamic and deep-rooted societal problems. These indubitably require bottom-up democratic solutions that are sensitive to differences in social institutions of power, production and religion in diverse ethnic-nations and yet capable of counteracting widening poverty, the bureaucratic nation-State’s reliance on total force, and under-class violent resistance (Ifeka 2005,2009; Duffield 2001, 2007).

Military Activities [Note 8]-
By 2009 the US had evolved its global command system into five regions (table 1):

AFRICOM was the fifth and latest of the Pentagon’s regional commands. The whole world is now more or less integrated, at least on paper, in one consolidated global military network (Rozoff 2010b). AFRICOM’s area of responsibility includes 53 African nations. Indeed, we should situate America and NATO’s military drive into Africa, all of Africa, within the context of US and NATO expansion and strengthening of, on paper, an increasingly integrated global command system with which to eradicate ‘terrorism’ and protect strategic resource flows to US-EU metropoles.
AFRICOM was authorised in 2007; the command was launched as an independent entity on 1 October 2008, with a forward base at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, in the highly strategic Horn of Africa, facing a volatile, fractured and ‘terrorist’ infiltrated Yemen. Two thousand AFRICOM troops are stationed at Camp Lemonier; the French army and navy also have a base with troops stationed in Djibouti (France 2008).
AFRICOM’s web site suggests that EUCOM/AFRICOM, Stuttgart, has developed a dynamic plan for improving relations all round between the US and selected African states, including those in strategic North and West Africa (Wikipedia 2010c). General William (‘Kip’) Ward, AFRICOM’s genial Commander, engages monthly on a hectic round of public relations and relationship building with friendly states via military-to-military events, training and conferences, strategic site visitations, supplies of modern military equipment, fostering partnering agreements between US-based National Guard units and selected African nations for military-military familiarisation and relationship building; for example, Nigeria is paired with the California state Home Guard, Tunisia with Wyoming’s. In 2009 US command donated to Mali modern military vehicles and communications equipment for improved intelligence and surveillance, especially of northern Mali, home to nomadic Tuareg (Rozoff 2010a).
Surveillance drones to patrol the vast empty spaces of the northern Sahara from ‘lily pad’ military platforms in Tamanrasset (southern Algeria) are also planned for southern Libya. A UK company is working, possibly in partnership with Italy, towards selling Libya up to fifty Evo Falco UAVs for surveillance work in restricted military airspace in the Sahara-Sahel (Coppinger 2010). Unarmed drones are launched from the US base in the Seychelles to monitor piracy, smuggling, military and ’terrorist’ activities in the Gulf of Suez and Indian Ocean. The latter on-going exercises link up with AFRICOM’s intelligence and monitoring operations by its 2,000 personnel based at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti (ibid).
Since 2006 AFRICOM has used its African Partnership Station (APS), the USS Fort McHenry, and carried out military and naval exercises in waters off Cape Verde, Guinea Conakry, Sao Tome and Principe, and Gabon (Wikipedia 2010c); it has simulated war games on Nigeria (Volman 2009; Samuelson 2009; Crossed Crocodiles 2008). AFRICOM’s air force planned thirty such events in 2009 and has 120 billed for 2010 (AFRICOM 2010). Seventeen event countries, some receiving development aid, include West Africa’s Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde (Powell 2009; Afrol 2009b).
Agreements with selected states providing ‘lily pads’ — forward operational locations or platforms for rapid response force detachments — are being expanded and consolidated; agreements are in the pipe line for Tamanrasset in the far south of Algeria, Bamako airport (Mali), Dakar airport (Senegal), also with Cape Verde regarding rapid response force use of its military base at Sao Vicente, off Senegal, and with Sao Tome and Principe (Gulf of Biafra). The latter states are upcoming US partners with oil fields to be exploited.

Clientelism -
Szeftel (2000 : 407ff) argued that Africa’s culturally rooted patrimonial political systems based on clientelism and patronage with (illegally) appropriated state funds obviously do not depend on development in the accepted sense. Rather, are these kleptocratic West African states threatened by it. Further repression by force may ensue. Therefore, development aid doled out on the current bilateral or multilateral basis, state to state, may be a waste of funds, siphoned as they usually are into the pockets of state officials, and if working together as is sometimes the case, laundered through the bank accounts of complicit NGOs, religious organisations, and business companies.
The principal cause of perceived ‘terrorist’ threats in West Africa to Western (oil, gas, mineral) interests is often said to be armed robbers, kidnappers, militants, religious fanatics and fundamentalists — and other alleged ‘saboteurs’ of the nation-State’s sovereignty and much vaunted stability including illegal traffickers, especially but not exclusively narcotic dealers with Nigerian connections.
However, a political economy analysis pinpoints, rather, the kleptocratic state’s internal de facto governance by clientelist relations within and between juridical, political and administrative institutions and security apparatuses. These relations are oiled by corruptly obtained money and evaluated in strictly financial terms — cui bono? Hardly surprising, all donors are desired including the Chinese, who in 2006 awarded wealthy Nigeria a $50 billion credit line that is still unused (Aderinokun 2008).
In sum, we can say that the informal ‘legal’ economy is indeed important in sustaining a hundred million and more families of waged and salaried workers, peasant-farmers, graziers, off-farm and pasture enterprises as cattle transporting, veterinary drugs buying and selling, hawkers of petty items, and small business folk including women street sellers of ‘hot food’ and other informal services. The illegal sector includes lucrative businesses in sex slave trafficking, based in Edo state as well as narcotics and gun trafficking orchestrated by Nigerian networks through West African remoter locations. This sector sustains clientelism linking dominant and dominated — ‘dirty’ money being recycled through multiple accounts until it emerges as ‘clean’ credit — though it also contributes to subaltern economic survival, as long as under-class madams in, for example, sex trafficking ventures survive by remaining ‘obedient’ and ‘trustworthy’ to men in command of their network (Agbroko 2009) [Note 9].
Clientelism and its vertical relations articulate power processes between patrons and clients through the distribution of ‘dash’/‘chop money’ between those at the heart of the kleptocratic State — the ruling political party, security forces, corporations and oligarchs of Nigeria’s venal ‘real’ political economy — and impoverished kinsfolk, clansmen and ethnic women of the under-classes who constitute ‘big’ men’s power base. Embedded patrimonial socio-political systems are cause and effect of a largely rural population growing at 3% per annum, relying for survival on networks of kin, clansfolk and ethnicity, and starved by patrons of the benefits of Nigeria’s huge oil revenues. Clientelism is therefore a major driver of the kleptocratic State’s corruption, violence and cruel use of killing force.
Access to and use of physical power strengthens patrons and senior clients’ hold on illegal pathways of accumulation and politically embedded State cultures of impunity; the latter protect government politicians, civil servants, police and army officers from serious investigation before the law and ensure brutal treatment by security agents of militants, vigilantes, and others (Bayart et al 1999; Chabal and Daloz 1999: ix-15) Thus, clientelism promotes violence at all levels of the ‘shadow’ or ‘real’ as well as formal (legal) political economies.
Yet the same all-powerful men also use ostensibly more peaceful methods to consolidate their formal command of the apparatuses of state including the all-powerful ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Oligarchs of leading dynasties seek to reproduce familial wealth and power in the predominantly Christian south, and largely Muslim north, by encouraging young kinsmen to become vigilantes to ‘police’ or protect their community and its natural resources from unwanted strangers. As well, they aim to marry off daughters to the sons or nephews of other notables of politics as state governors, senior administrators or banking CEOs. By and large daughters obey, but as a recent instance demonstrates there are limits to a client’s obedience, and when the client feels sufficiently secure with his patron he may decline to serve. In early 2009 the sole wife of a powerful northern state governor (a client of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) refused to agree to the First Lady of Nigeria’s demand that her husband marry the President’s daughter; the state governor’s first lady is still his only wife.

Vigilantism: Militancy -
Vigilantism, taking the law into the group’s own hands with the ostensible objective of protecting one’s neighbourhood/quarter or town, is an enduring aspect of settlement society and history among different ethnic groups in Nigeria (Conerly 2007, Pratten 2007) — and elsewhere [Note 10]. Youth organisations span the spectrum from purely recreational to credit associations and town unions to vigilante armed units with ordering functions and militant organisations whose mission is to achieve political goals by attacking the bourgeois State. Some are also active in the ‘shadow’ economy of trafficking illegal goods for pecuniary gain and prestige acquisition. Vigilantes’ primary role, however, is supposedly defensive — protection and ordering — rather than offensive as are militants’.
However, vigilante youth policing or ordering activities lack strong boundaries (Buur 2003): an energetic youth can be a vigilante in the conventional sense (above) but also participate in or initiate traditional style religious fundamentalism, become a trade union (class) strike leader or leave the vigilante zone and enter an ethnic-nationalist organisation in the Niger Delta or join a fundamentalist politico-religious sect. The latter may be modelled on a leader’s hearsay knowledge obtained from travellers or the Internet of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other radical Muslim organisations in the global Ummah. Equally, men employed as police don their Nigeria Police uniform by day, but at night may join a vigilante or ethnic/religious militant organisation or even a band of armed robbers and engage in ‘operations’ to obtain cash (Ifeka 2006, Walker 2009).
Youth organisations protecting the community may receive remuneration, usually a regular monthly fee and/or payments in kind that can flow into other less licit forms of money-getting activities; as noted, the latter merges into community policing. Increasing impoverishment is encouraging more security agents to participate in rackets in which armed robbers, fraudsters and other local ‘godfathers’, in partnership with client middle-ranking or junior police officers, arrange to obtain entry to the Nigeria Police and start work by day as police constables. Night time operations (e.g. robberies, attacks on rival mobs) then go much more smoothly, less likelihood of road blocks and interrogations at gun point.
Vigilante/militant culture and symbols of power (e.g. spiritual force as traditional juju, gods and powerful ‘medicines’, status as ulamma or pastor) are not only created by young men, and sometimes in mixed organisations by young women, drawing on known traditional cultural values of righteous authority and violence (e.g. secret societies with violent initiation rituals). Militant values are also influenced by community values and ‘traditional’ political practices of consensual decision making, respect for the elders, care for the young and vulnerable; also group culture is shaped by relations with, and criticism of, the dominant culture of mainstream society and the State, as experienced by youth when dealing with the State’s agencies and also as perceived through urban television.
Socially immature (e.g. unmarried, or married without financial means or capital assets) men often feel that godfathers are not living up to their (clients’) expectations: lack of ‘dash’ means they lack the cash to fuel a ‘high’ or ‘rich’ level of consumption (drinks, women, hotels, clothes, mobile phones); nor have they been given sufficient money that compensates for labour, at times dangerous, on behalf of godfathers’ shadowy accumulation. Unfulfilled expectations, and, since the return to democracy in 1999, politicians’ ready recourse to violence during elections to secure a majority vote certainly precipitates further growth of youth-led vigilante and other more militant organisations. The latter match with counter-force the physical power of a ‘selfish’ dominant class as well as launch ‘war’ on rival gangs or sects.
The Nigerian economy’s class divisions, both in the legitimate and shadow economies, are formative forces, though partly obscured by the pervasive familiarity of kin-based identities of ethnicity and religion that provides spiritual protection (charms) as well as potent prayers at shrines, in churches/mosques against witchcraft, magic, enemy bullets and poisoning. Free trade and market reforms in the context of an uncaring (‘selfish’) state have benefitted the few and disadvantaged the many (Bracking 2009): these trends have sharpened under-class perceptions. Youth with a post-secondary education, but often without regular paid employment, may come from families with a larger survival margin in the form of savings or capital assets (land, water, property rentals), such families are accorded more prestige and higher status positions in village/town governance. Class divisions in the wider society are reflected in the extent to which, everything else being more or less equal, competent and reasonably popular literate and educated youth are considered leaders rather than their illiterate or semi-literate counterparts. Though partly obscured, persons’ positions in relation to the means of production (e.g. land/farming/petty business/transport/trading) in the formal and ‘shadow’ (illegal) economies, as well as patrons ‘generosity’ to clients in patrimonial networks of accumulation, reflect deepening economic inequalities and class awareness shaping growing subaltern resistance through vigilantism/militancy in the remotest rural areas, villages and cities of Nigeria — and elsewhere in West Africa [Note 11].
Thus, contemporary vigilantism and fundamentalist ethnic/religious organisations constitute a generalised youth sub-culture that represents a level of (indigenous) thought and understanding of their position as largely unwanted surplus labour — young urban hawkers, waged labourers, office workers, farmers, graziers, peasants and petit bourgeois small business folk — sandwiched between and mediating elders’ (more traditional) knowledge and that of the modern State’s dominant political class values of pecuniary accumulation by any means, fair or foul (c.f. Stuart Hall 1975: 15; Ifeka 2001a, 2006).

Repression -
Patron-client networks protect police, soldiers and junior army officers most times from prosecution by injured citizens and unemployed under-class youth. But if young men and older male children picked up by the police in a raid against armed robbers, for example, lack a patron, they may well be executed without trial. Five young people including a boy of thirteen years were shot dead on sight by the police during one such ‘raid’ in 2009 in an Enugu suburb (Walker 2009). Nigerian police often execute without trial young men accused of armed robbery, theft, attacks on officers when being ‘arrested’. In the 1990s-mid-2000s, I observed how so-called ‘armed robbers’ may be tied to telegraph poles painted white over two metres high and shot dead in the early hours of the morning; others may be killed at night by fellow inmates of small cells packed tight with up to forty men. Few prisoners or their families dare to complain in public or to the police themselves. Distressed, fearful relatives ask themselves: what is the point of such complaints?
Citizens are reared in a culture that tends to condone ‘righteous’ physical violence in the family, the neighbourhood and markets against thieves, and are accustomed to enduring forceful treatment at the hands of the police, armed robbers and vigilantes. People are socialised into a culture of political violence, expecting when travelling to be forcefully defrauded of their petty cash by the State’s security agencies, petty government officials and customs officers patrolling the pot-holed highways and roads (Smith 2007). They experience daily the economic violence inflicted on their small earnings, salaries and wages by a collapsing economy and anticipated lack of compensating rewards were they to engage in more lucrative illegal activities; they feel almost daily the social violence miseries of young children chronically ill and dying, mothers and wives dying in childbirth.
Frustrated beyond endurance at the latest problem in their neighbourhood, on the roads, or at public bus stations, beset with economic anxieties, under-class men (and women) lash out against one another and, if in the vicinity, the much hated and despised police. Fighting in public places as the streets, water taps, and markets is very common.
Given such conditions of existence, it would be surprising if, after years of endurance, Nigerian youth did not seek to redress the political and economic balance between subalterns and a mega-rich political elite by grafting militancy onto their vigilante, armed robbery and other illegal trafficking activities. They have to survive — somehow — by acquiring the power with which to challenge security agents, especially the police, identified as tools of the dominant political-military-business class; in so doing, they reject their subordinate under-class status, the legitimacy of the State’s formal policing system and kleptocracy; they demand clean, just governance that would deliver to the masses equitable rental incomes (i.e. from oil/uranium) and implements customary or religious (Islamic/Christian) core precepts.
In the past thirty years many Ijaw (Niger Delta) and Tuareg (Niger, Mali) youth and adult men in some communities have moved from defensive style peaceful protest and vigilante policing to the offensive. They now carry out planned, armed attacks against symbols of the repressive nation-state allied to multi-national oil, water and mining corporations to achieve a clearly articulated political goal represented in traditional, popular symbols of resource ownership, purer governance and employment for ‘our people’. A key event that pushed many Ijaw people towards accepting political violence by ‘our boys’ took place in 1999, when residents of a Niger Delta village called Odi killed twelve policemen who had abused residents; the newly elected Nigerian President (Obasanjo) ordered that the army be sent in to crush ‘rebellion’ and slaughtered over 3,000 residents including children; he showed no remorse, rather he blamed the people of Odi; they deserved their punishment.
Since 1999 the US and UK have tried to ‘civilise’ the Nigeria Police with several training and reorientation programmes (Dfid 2008). But the 260,000 rank and file, the 50,000 senior officers and Mobile Police (known as ‘MoPo’ ‘kill-and-go’) still see themselves as having the ‘right’ to lash out with weapons and even kill in retaliation for youth or community attacks on police buildings and personnel (Wikipedia 2008).
A summary of selected riots, disturbances and incidents is given in Table 2. It records some violent events as examples of different expressions of resistance to the State’s view of ‘law and order’, and of popular demands for a fair distribution between ethnicities according to Nigeria’s ‘federal character’ of locally valued assets (e.g. local government institutions). Tables 3 and 4 analyse similarities and differences in selected militant organisations.

Islamic fundamentalist organisations (Table 2), illustrate how Muslim youth and older members draw on a mix of traditional and class symbols for unity, internal discipline, and authority invested in recognised leaders. Of these we can mention the Islamist Maitatsine rebellion.
The Maitatsine reform movement sought, from the 1960s, to abolish corruption and substitute clean governance according to Quranic principles in the Nigerian State as well as among other (rival) Muslim congregations (e.g. Sufi orders, Yan Izala, the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood). Mohammed Marwa Maitatsine was renowned in Kano for his controversial preachings on the Quran and critical statements about the State. Though unpopular with state authorities for perceivably inflammatory, subversive and militaristic teaching, he began to be accepted by Islamic authorities in the 1970s (Wikepdia 2010a). His preaching attracted largely a following of subaltern Hausa youths, unemployed migrant young men, and those who felt that mainstream Muslim teachers were not doing enough for their client communities. Maitatsine claimed to be a prophet; he was killed by security forces in 1980 during the Kano insurrection which saw over 4,000 dead. Some contemporary Islamic reform groups as Boko Haram claim descent from Maitatsine.
Boko Haram (‘Western education is a sin’) seeks to impose Shari‘a law throughout Nigeria. The sect claims to be an offshoot of Maitatsine as does the Kalo-Kato group. Boko Haram was founded in 2002 in Maiduguri by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, who was shot dead without due process by the police in the 2009 uprising. In 2004 the sect set up a congregation at Kanamma, Yobe state, known locally as ‘Afghanistan’ since members engaged periodically in what communities perceived to be ‘Taliban’ style attacks on police outposts, killing police officers. Their objective is to impose reform on corrupt (Muslim) elites who have adopted ‘bad’ Western values, and to establish Shari’a states throughout Nigeria. To that end, when preaching fails to persuade corrupt elements to reform, violence may be necessary.
Seventy members of the Boko Haram sect erupted, guns blazing, on 26 July 2009 in an attack on a police station at Zongo near Bauchi in retaliation for the arrest by police of branch leaders suspected of plotting extreme violence against the State’s security agencies, particularly the police. According to press reports sect youth were armed with grenades and guns including several AK-47s. Thirty-eight members were killed in the fighting along with a soldier (Gusau 2009). Soldiers launched reprisal attacks in Bauchi as well as Maiduguri where Yusuf had sought refuge close to the mosque used by followers. Several armed youth were reported to have ‘bombed’ police facilities with burning motor bicycles, during attacks on a Maiduguri police station during the July 2009 uprising. Some members of the sect reportedly came from Chad and spoke only Arabic; Chadians launched a fierce attack on Wudil Divisional Police Station, near Kano (Wikipedia 2009b; Muslim News 2009).
In Bornu, Boko Haram armed sect members targeted the Police armoury, the Maiduguri new Prison (whose inmates they released) and the life of the commander of the joint border patrol. As prison inmates fled, militants took hostage the correspondent of the Daily Trust newspaper, alleging that he had betrayed the sect by dressing and growing a beard like them, but had failed to protect their interests by fighting the Borno state government and its security agents. He had also failed to assist Boko Haram in waging jihad against the Izala sect and its mosques in Maiduguri. Of the some 154 people killed, over 11 5 were said to be sect members who had used swords, bows and arrows, sticks, petrol bombs and several guns in attacking police headquarters. A Nigerian army detachment surrounded Yusuf’s home on 28 July, killing followers — over 25 bodies of young men were photographed by press reporters, trussed up, face down, shot in the back of the head without trial; then police removed Yusuf to a police station where subsequently, without interview or trial, he was shot dead. On 30 July mobile police from Operation Flush II, and soldiers, killed over 100 sect members in fighting in Maiduguri; three police were also killed. Security forces entered the mosque occupied by militants and raked the inside with machine gun fire. Elsewhere soldiers and police engaged militants in house to house fighting. Violent clashes were also reported from Potiskum (southern Plateau state) and Wudil near Kano (Wikipedia 2010b). In all about 300 people were killed, including children, police and soldiers.
Boko Haram items displayed by police to the public as ‘evidence’ of the sect’s dangerous intentions and capabilities included knives, cutlasses, local charms and drugs apparently used by youth before launching their attacks. Modern weapons collected were gun powder using in making explosives, equipment for manufacturing local guns, pump action guns, revolvers, a few AK47s and an air rifle. Many of the sect were said by the police to be teenagers from Kano and Bornu states. Others, killed by the police, were children between the ages of eight and fifteen; the police admitted after serious press and human rights NGO questioning to having shot three, but journalists reported eight to twelve children shot dead by security agents in cold blood (Gusau 2009; Wikipedia 2010b).
In December 2009 an Islamist sect, Kalo-Kato — said by member to be related to Maitatsine and Boko Haram — struck in the Zango area near Bauchi city. Full violence commenced subsequently, when during morning prayers at the mosque, the Kalo-Kato sect leader started preaching that other Islamic sects (e.g. Yan Izala) were infidels; he condemned the state government for ordering the arrests of ‘fanatics’ and strongly denounced police and army reprisals against Boko Haram members as, according to him, ‘they were preaching the truth’; that is, ‘the reality in the country’ of ‘selfish’ governance and disobedience to the Quran and Shari’a law. Kalo-Kato sought the release of remaining Boko Haram leaders and members currently facing trial in the High Court, Bauchi. Six soldiers entered the mosque trying to stop the preaching, not knowing that the militants were well armed; the latter killed one soldier and absconded with his rifle. Allegedly five hundred adherents then attempted to embark on a procession of protest, but were obstructed by neighbours and Mobile Police from Operation Flush. Members went wild, attacking anyone in sight and burning houses; some reportedly wore ‘long white jumpers’ infected with powerful charms that the youth believed protected themselves against bullets, knives and arrows (Obateru 2009).
Thirty seven members, two policemen and two soldiers were killed along with four children, said to have been burnt to death when their house was torched by Kalo-Kato sect child members. Reportedly the latter were mainly children between ten to fifteen years of age, backed up by adults, were torching houses and attacking anyone standing in their way (Obateru 2009). Many of the dead were said by police to have ‘killed themselves’. Security reports blamed the violence on a quarrel between sect leaders and their followers. Human rights organisations are demanding prosecution of the security forces for extra-judicial ‘barbaric killings’ (HRW 2009a).

Comparisons -
Tables 3 and 4 comprise, respectively, a preliminary outline of some social features of militant organisations and analysis of organisational variables.

The organisations differ in that Islamists situate their marginalised, militant groups in relation to traditional Ummah institutions and sacred texts as the Quran, while Niger Delta groups articulate a common identity through worship of traditional gods, reliance on juju and community ‘mothers’, and on follower identification with rent-seeking through resource control. Again, Islamist sects reviewed here seek justice and governance in line with Quranic precepts, not resource control and rent-seeking; lacking much modern weaponry Islamist followers seem aware of their position as a subaltern under-class fighting its corner against powerful corrupt interests.
Donor governments and AFRICOM should consider, in the light of the Niger Delta’s militant struggle and its proven capacity to reduce oil output, whether militarization in partnership with kleptocratic ruling oligarchies will secure US-EU MNCs’ priority access to strategic natural resources to which communities have strong traditional claims. Or whether, as in the Niger Delta, the more force used by the State the more subaltern violence grows. An alternative fifteen year strategy for peace would, first, strengthen community land management, especially in settlements close to areas with strategic resources as uranium, oil, diamonds, gold and bauxite so as to build in these regional hubs the basis of a politics of growth and equitable accumulation as against ‘big’ men’s ‘selfish’ control of distribution and patronage. Second, it would improve community, NGO and West African government capacity to promote transparent competition between Asian and Western dominated MNCs. Such a strategy could sustain at the community and local government levels institutional capacity building for resource conflict resolution (UNDP 2009) that erases subaltern resistance currently used by the US-EU to justify the ‘War on Terror’; this would reduce US-EU defence costs [Note 12]. Still, a strategy of running an alternative community based capacity building programme alongside formal political structures (and all-important relatively invisible networks of illegal accumulation embedded in old institutions with the potential to penetrate new initiatives) would need considerable support from ECOWAS, the AU, MNCs, and major US-EU-Asian donors. That might be difficult to secure unless, in response to militarization, full-scale militancy in the Niger Delta, Niger/Mali blocks strategic resource flows to the West African State and overseas metropoles.

Conclusion -
As Bourdieu has argued, violence inbuilt into everyday life is linked to the emergence and growth of explicit political terror and state repression (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgeois 2004: 20) In challenging the kleptocratic State by seeking just governance, subaltern youth are rejecting their subordinate under-class status and the legitimacy of the State’s formal policing system. Some are prepared, and do, sacrifice their lives for their cause (HRW 2009). Advocacy activists in Nigeria, Guinea, Niger and Mali are calling for urgent reforms to end extra-judicial killings and the culture of impunity in West African police and the military to ensure prosecution of perpetrators of such violence against citizens.
I have argued that the primary cause of unending cycles of violence nourishing ‘terrorism’ is not the State’s security agencies, per se, but as Islamic militants as well as Western donors recognise, ‘bad’ governance. Clientelism, not corruption, is the primary cause of subaltern resistance and dominant class reliance on violent repression. Linked as cause and consequence of clientelism are: first, the West African-Nigerian ruling class’s insertion into profoundly lucrative networks of trade in illegal goods for capital accumulation that rely largely on pecuniary and physical methods of control; second, the patrimonial system’s failure to implement the customary ‘just’ redistribution of ‘dividends’. Godfathers and other ‘big men’ are more committed to securing a permanent position for themselves, and their extended families (dynasties), in the dominant political-military-commercial class than they are to upholding traditional clientelistic values of ‘sharing’.
Is it that the State’s repressive security agencies are implementing ‘war’ — against their own young people for allegedly committing ‘terrorism’ (Kapferer 2009)? In press reports following Islamic sects’ attacks in 2009, police declined to use the words ‘murder’ or ‘homicide’ to describe the killing force they had deployed; rather they preferred to speak euphemistically of ‘mopping up operations’ against ‘terrorists’, ‘rebels’. Clearly, Nigerian (and other repressive West African) regimes are so habituated to violence that the dominant class and subalterns live in a permanent ‘state of exception’ to democratic constitutions and the international law of human rights. Subaltern youth, adults and children lack rights and are treated as if they are beyond the law; they can be sacrificed, not killed (Agamben 2005: 7-11 ).
In conclusion, politically acceptable, realistic alternatives to Africa’s militarisation are vital to help halt prospects of potentially appalling conflict between, on the one hand, regionally based imperial confederations (Western, Asian and Middle Eastern) — equipped with nuclear arsenals and remotely operated unarmed and armed aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones (Singer 2009), their political and corporate bourgeoisies in fierce competition for control of Africa’s strategic but finite resources to sustain high rates of capital accumulation elsewhere — and on the other hand, dispersed radical movements, a mix of under-class and radicalised middle class elements surplus to capital accumulation, convinced there is nothing to lose but everything to gain in spiritual blessings, for do they not, in Baudrillard’s (2002) words, labour to radicalise the world by sacrifice?

I wish to thank the Editor for constructive comments, Bruce Kapferer for encouragement and many subaltern friends for their support in the field.

* APS: African Partnership Station
* AU: African Union
* ECOWAS: Economic Community of West African States
* EU: European Union
* DfID: Department for International Development
* FGN: Federal Government of Nigeria
* HRW: Human Rights Watch
* IMF: International Monetary Fund
* IT: Information Technology
* LGA/LGC: Local Government Authority/Local Government Council
* MASSOB: Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra
* MEND: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
* MNC: Multi-national Corporation
* NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
* NDPVF: Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force
* NDV: Niger Delta Vigilantes
* PDP: People’s Democratic Party
* UAV: Unarmed Aerial Vehicle
* UN: United Nations
* USADF: United States African Development Foundation
* US AFRICOM: Africa Command
* WB: World Bank
* WTO: World Treaty Organisation

1. Terrorism — the systematic use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes; the state of fear and submission produced by terrorization. Youth are males aged c.15-35 years.

2. Declining Nigerian life expectancy (c. 62-65 years in 1960 45-50 in 2009; one of the highest world rates of maternal mortality; one of the highest world death rates in children under 5 years (UN Development Report 2008).

3. Clientelism — asymmetrical political relations between followers and leaders; a patron protects and ‘looks after’ less powerful men and their families, his clients. Patrimonialism — ‘big men’ (patrons) coordinate networks of accumulation to constitute a patrimony, fund, capital for family and clan benefit; lesser patrons and clients expect ‘shares’.

4. Dfid, Security, Justice and Growth Programme 2003-2008.

5. In the early 1990s Taiwan was more interested in Nigeria than China.

6. Abdulmutalab may have been planted on the plane by someone other than a fellow radical Muslim — but by whom?

7. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Nigerian working class based in city factory production in Lagos, Aba, Jos, Kano and Kaduna was growing rapidly in numbers, trade union organisation and consciousness. 30% of today’s subalterns live in cities almost devoid of factories, 70% live in rural areas where kin-based support networks render meaningful symbols and practices of ethnicity, religion and clientelism that habituate the marginalised majority to ‘accept’/’endure’/’do’ every day violence.

8. AFRICOM’s Equipment: In 2009 US Air Forces Africa (AFA AFRICA, 17 th Air Force) flew a new C-1303 Super Hercules tactical airlifter aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to pick up seventeen troops assisting with training Malian forces. By 2010, AFA AFRICA will be able to call on 14 such aircraft in support of their mission in Africa (Torres 2010). Is the US command setting up a new West African regional military force (Scavetta 2009)? Will the US use private security companies (e.g., CSS Global Inc) as in Somalia, to establish a small but flexible military presence in selected states (ibid)? Will UAVs be awarded to favoured West African states?
NATO: France has about 7,000 troops in different West African countries from Senegal to Gabon; about 2,900 French troops are also stationed in Djibouti where the US command has leased Fort Lemonier as an AFRICOM naval base. Africa is a testing ground for NATO’s Rapid Response Force and the US’s 1,000 ship Navy and Global Fleet Station projects (Wikipedia 2009a).

9. Narcotic trafficking networks are backed by godfathers’ command of (illegal) physical force and ‘money bags’. Networks are reportedly informal, segmentary and non-centralised with levels of players, for example, lowly (under-class) ‘mules’ and above them ‘fixers’ who may not know much about the network’s principal bosses (Ellis 2009:185-191).

10. An early reference in published form to town unions and youth associations is by Smythe and Smythe (1962). Vigilantes flourished in Igbo communities during the turbulent build up to the Biafran Civil War (1967-70), and as armed robbers extracting money and goods as well as protecting their own people, on highways at night, and in neighbourhoods. Vigilantes or ‘youth’ organisations with ‘protective’ functions were absorbed into the Biafran army during the civil war, and subsequently reappeared as civilian organisations. Some of these organisations have strong roots in male secret societies with initiation rituals (Pratten and Sen 2005; Ifeka 2006).

11. For example, Maradi, southern Niger (Duval-Smith 2001); the Casamance, Senegal (Diallo 2010; HRW 2009b).

12. Hubs for development with peace and transparency across the region, achievements in governance broadcast by the visual, print, party and electronic media, could provide models of cleaner more equitable governance. As in Pro-Natura Nigeria’s successful community development foundation programmes in the Niger Delta, elected leaders representing the working and middle classes — vigilante organisations, farmers and graziers associations, trade unions, religious confederations, professional associations of doctors, teachers and lawyers — might be mobilised to provide the infra-structure and social services that alone convince the majority that the way of peaceful development is best. Such leaderships could largely bypass a despised and unpopular oligarchic West African Bonapartist class, mediating on behalf of its own pecuniary and self-serving financial gain between ‘people’ and Western/Asian institutions and banks

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Europe, with NATO and the USA, is coordinating a conquest of Africa

Research by Rick Rozoff from "Stop NATO":
* Militarization Of Energy Policy: U.S. Africa Command And Gulf Of Guinea []
* Pentagon And NATO Apply Afghanistan-Pakistan War Model To Africa []
* New Colonialism: Pentagon Carves Africa Into Military Zones []
* Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa []
* NATO: AFRICOM’s Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa []
* AFRICOM’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia []
* AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World []

"The Conquest of Africa: NATO Wages War On Third Continent"
2011-03-30 by Rick Rozoff from "Stop NATO"
At its summit in Lisbon, Portugal last November the North Atlantic Treaty Organization adopted its first strategic concept for the 21st century, one in keeping with its expansion into not only a pan-European but a self-styled international military force.
In addition to subordinating all of Europe to a U.S.-dominated interceptor missile system, complementing the new U.S. Cyber Command in waging cyberwarfare defensive and offensive, and erasing whatever distinction remained between NATO and European Union military functions on the continent and globally, the world’s only military bloc endorsed the nearly ten-year-old war in Afghanistan as its prime mission and affirmed its commitment to ongoing operations in the Balkans.
Almost all of the approximately 150,000 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan are currently under the command of the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force, which is also conducting deadly helicopter gunship raids and artillery attacks inside neighboring Pakistan.
The war in South Asia is NATO’s first armed conflict outside Europe and its first ground war. Its bombing campaign in Bosnia in 1995 and 78-day air war against Yugoslavia four years later were its first hostile military actions.
NATO is now waging a war in a third continent, Africa.
The Alliance’s summit last year placed particular emphasis on consolidating partnerships with nations outside Europe and North America; military relations and agreements with, counting NATO members and partners alike, over a third of the 192 members of the United Nations.
Mechanisms employed to extend NATO’s influence and operations worldwide include the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, the Contact Countries format, the NATO-Afghanistan- Pakistan Tripartite Commission and the NATO-Russia Council.
Five of the seven members of the Mediterranean Dialogue – Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – are African states.
With U.S. Africa Command achieving full operational capability on October 1, 2008, the whole continent has been placed under an American overseas military command (Egypt remains in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility), with plans underway to replicate that arrangement with NATO [].
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) assumed control of what is now a 12-day war against Libya, the only North African nation not subordinated to AFRICOM or CENTCOM and to binding NATO obligations, through its Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.
With NATO assuming direct command of the war – air and cruise missile strikes, a naval blockade of the country, on-the-ground operations in conjunction with anti-government insurgents and afterward independently – AFRICOM and NATO are being merged into one warfighting force.
In addition to that unprecedented integration, two members of NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – are providing warplanes for Operation Odyssey Dawn and in the process engaging in a joint campaign with both NATO and AFRICOM for the first time. (The United Arab Emirates is one of 48 Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s Afghan war and Bahrain, another Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partner, is supplying security forces for the International Security Assistance Force. Mediterranean Dialogue member Egypt is also an unofficial force contributor for NATO in Afghanistan. )
When on March 28 President Barack Obama repeatedly mentioned the international community and “international partners” and the “broad coalition” conducting the war against Libya along with the Pentagon, he could only cite eleven allies so involved: “[N]ations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey…all of whom have fought by our side for decades [and] Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.”
Nevertheless, Washington has brought together North American and European NATO allies with Persian Gulf partners for a war in Africa, the latest step in solidifying an international military alliance under U.S. control, complementing the building of an Asia-Pacific NATO, consolidating military partnerships in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East and integrating former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia into the Pentagon-NATO network.
Military operations currently under AFRICOM’s Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn and within hours to be transferred to NATO have included over 1,800 sorties and 214 Tomahawk cruise missile attacks since the beginning of the war on March 19.
NATO’s Lisbon summit declaration of last November highlighted an expanding role for the bloc in Africa, including supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), for which it has airlifted thousands of Ugandan troops for combat in the nation’s capital, the Operation Ocean Shield naval operation off the Horn of Africa and the operationalization of the African Standby Force, modeled after the NATO Response Force.
In twelve years the U.S. has used NATO for the war against Yugoslavia – the first unprovoked attack against a sovereign European nation since World War Two – a nearly decade-long air and ground war in Asia, and now the opening stages of a war in Africa. None of those wars were launched either to defend a member of NATO or in the so-called Euro-Atlantic area the military bloc arrogates to itself the right to protect.
21st century NATO is a global military strike force to be employed wherever its leading member states, the U.S. in the first case, choose to use it. Other nations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Caucasus and even what is left of unsubjugated Europe had best take note of the fact.

"Africa: Global NATO Seeks To Recruit 50 New Military Partners"
2011-02-20 by Rick Rozoff from "Stop NATO!" []:
A recent article in Kenya’s Africa Review cited sources in the African Union (AU) disclosing that the 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization is preparing to sign a military partnership treaty with the 53-nation AU.
The author of the article, relaying comments from AU officials in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the organization has its headquarters, wrote that although “the stated aim is to counter global security threats and specifically threats against Africa, some observers read the pact as aiming to counter Chinese expansion in Africa.”
The feature further claimed that NATO is negotiating the opening of a liaison office at AU headquarters and that the North Atlantic Alliance’s legal department is working with its AU counterpart “to finalise the new pact, which will be signed soon.” [1]
The news story additionally divulged that Ramtane Lamamra, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, “confirmed that Nato is to sign a military cooperation agreement with the AU” with particular emphasis on consolidating the African Standby Force (ASF). The latter is intended to consist of brigades attached to the five Regional Economic Communities on the continent. (North, East, West, Central and Southern.) The West African Standby Force has been tasked the role of intervening in – which is to say invading and occupying – Ivory Coast since the announcement of presidential runoff election results in the country in December [2], and contributors to the East Africa Standby Brigade (EASBRIG), Uganda and Burundi, are engaged as combatants in the civil war in Somalia.
The AU’s Lamamra stated “Africa would like to learn from Nato on strategic airlift, advanced communications, rotation of important units among regions and to meet logistical challenges,” adding that “Nato was a good model on which to build the ASF.” [3]
NATO airlifted thousands of Ugandan troops into and out of the Somali capital of Mogadishu last March – 1,700 and 800, respectively – in support of the Ugandan-Burundian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). [4]
The Kenyan report also revealed that “Experts say Africa is becoming a strategic battleground between world powers and in particular the US, the European Union, China and Russia,” with the first two – collectively subsumed under NATO and its Partnership for Peace program (except, for the time being, Cyprus) – working in unison and the second two expanding oil and natural gas investments on the continent. In addition, Russia and China are competitors of the U.S. and its NATO allies in regards to arms sales to African nations. The piece added:
“According to knowledgeable sources, the new security arrangement could be a way to block the continent’s other main arms suppliers – China and Russia.
“If the pact gets endorsed by AU member states, it would be a big blow for China and Russia.”
“In its 2010 annual summit, Nato set itself a target to be a global ‘security guarantor’ by the year 2020.” [5]
On February 18 and 19 a delegation of high-level officials from the African Union led by Sivuyile Thandikhaya Bam, head of the Peace Support Operations Division of the AU, visited NATO Headquarters and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium. As NATO reports:
“NATO and the African Union have developed an increasingly fruitful practical cooperation since 2005….NATO supported the AU Mission in Sudan [airlifting over 30,000 troops to and from the Darfur region] and is currently assisting the AU mission in Somalia in terms of air- and sea-lift, but also planning support.
“NATO is also providing…training opportunities and capacity building support to the African Union’s long term peacekeeping capabilities, in particular the African Standby Force.” [6]
The African Standby Force has been systematically modeled after the NATO Response Force, which was launched with large-scale war games in the African island nation of Cape Verde in 2006. The ASF is a joint project of NATO and U.S. Africa Command, which before achieving full operational capability on October 1, 2008 was conceived, developed and run by U.S. European Command, whose commander is simultaneously NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
In 2007 the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s top civilian decision-making body, commissioned a study “on the assessment of the operational readiness of the African Standby Force (ASF) brigades.” [7]
The following year NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer visited Ghana for three days and said “the military alliance could play an important role in training African soldiers,” in particular that “the Alliance had agreed to support the African Standby Force.” [8]
In 2009 the bloc began training African staff officers for the ASF at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. Joint Command Lisbon, the Alliance headquarters tasked to supervise military cooperation with the African Union, has trained African officers to run military exercises, and “NATO has also participated and supported various ASF preparatory workshops designed to develop ASF-related concepts.” [9]
The same year Norwegian Colonel Brynjar Nymo – Norway’s embassy in Ethiopia is the informal liaison office for NATO’s relations with the AU – said that “cooperation between NATO and AU is currently focusing on technical support for the African Standby Force (ASF).”
The Norwegian embassy’s website at the time stated that “The Africa Monitoring & Support Team at the NATO Headquarters in Portugal is the operational headquarters for NATO’s work in Africa,” as indicated above. [10]
Then-NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General Maurits Jochems visited AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, where NATO has a senior military liaison officer and other officials assigned, later in 2009.
“In his capacity as NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General, Ambassador Jochems has frequently visited Addis Ababa for discussions with the African Union….NATO is providing technical advice, and making available subject matter experts, experiences from international operations, and access to relevant training facilities to the AUC [African Union Commission] in the context of the African Standby Force.” [11]
This January 26 and 27 NATO’s Military Committee held two days of meetings in Brussels with the chiefs of defense – the U.S.’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen and his equivalents – and other military representatives of 66 nations, a third of the members of the United Nations.
The proceedings discussed ongoing NATO operations in Afghanistan – currently the world’s largest and longest war, with an estimated 140,000 troops from some 50 nations serving under the Alliance’s International Security Assistance Force – the Balkans (Kosovo Force), the entire Mediterranean Sea (Operation Active Endeavor), and the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden and down the eastern coast of Africa (Operation Ocean Shield).
During the Military Committee and related meetings a session of the Mediterranean Dialogue was held with military leaders from the seven members of that NATO partnership: Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and Mauritania. The session occurred as the government of Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had recently been toppled and the demonstrations in Egypt that would bring the same denouement to President Hosni Mubarak were getting underway.
On February 9 Serbia’s Beta News Agency reported Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac announcing that a NATO strategic conference entitled After Lisbon: Implementation of Transformation will be held in his nation’s capital of Belgrade in June with representatives from 69 countries attending: All 28 NATO member states, 22 Partnership for Peace nations [12] in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and 19 other states. [13]
In addition to the Mediterranean Dialogue, NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative program is developing military cooperation with the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with Oman and Saudi Arabia to be brought on board next. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in Qatar from February 15-16 for the two-day Deepening the NATO-Istanbul Cooperation Initiative conference with the permanent representatives (ambassadors) of the bloc’s 28 members and senior military and government officials from the six Gulf Cooperation Council states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The first and last of them have troops serving under NATO in Afghanistan.
NATO also has a partnership category called Contact Countries. Subject to expansion, the four such nations are all in the Asia-Pacific region: Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. The U.S.-led military bloc also maintains the Afghanistan-Pakistan-International Security Assistance Force Tripartite Commission to coordinate war efforts on both sides of the Khyber Pass and has troops and other military personnel assigned to its command in Afghanistan from nations that are not currently among the 70 NATO member and official partnership states: Colombia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore and Tonga.
The NATO-Russia Council was revived at the bloc’s Lisbon summit in November and NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) is training and equipping the fledgling armed forces of Kosovo, the Kosovo Security Force. [14] NATO, then, has no fewer than 75 members and partners with nations like previously neutral Cyprus slated to follow. [15]
The African Union has 53 members and will soon have another after the successful independence referendum in Southern Sudan. The AU includes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), conquered by Morocco in 1975 and not recognized by any NATO state, but not Morocco, which withdrew from the AU because of the latter’s recognition and incorporation of Western Sahara.
Four members of the AU, along with Morocco, are already part of a NATO partnership program, the Mediterranean Dialogue – Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania and Tunisia – so a NATO military cooperation treaty with the African Union could gain the Atlantic Alliance 50 new partners.
That is, the world’s only military bloc can further expand from one that grew from 16 to 28 members in a decade – 1999-2009 – into one that will become truly international in scope with nearly 100 military partners. Partners and members on every inhabited continent. Two-thirds of the nations in the world.

Militarization Of Energy Policy: U.S. Africa Command And Gulf Of Guinea

Pentagon And NATO Apply Afghanistan-Pakistan War Model To Africa

New Colonialism: Pentagon Carves Africa Into Military Zones

Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa

NATO: AFRICOM’s Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa

AFRICOM’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia

AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World

1) Argaw Ashine, Nato to sign security cooperation pact with AU
 Africa Review, February 18, 2011 []

 2) Ivory Coast: Testing Ground For U.S.-Backed African Standby Force
 Stop NATO, January 23, 2011 []

3) Africa Review, February 18, 2011

 4) Uganda: U.S., NATO Allies Prepare New Invasion Of Somalia
 Stop NATO, July 28, 2010 []

5) Africa Review, February 18, 2011

 6) North Atlantic Treaty Organization []

7) North Atlantic Treaty Organization []

8) Ghana News Agency, November 21, 2008

 9) North Atlantic Treaty Organization []

10) Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia, April 20, 2009

 11) Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia, November 4, 2009

 12) Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Russia in sometimes included.

 13) NATO conference in Belgrade announced
 Beta News Agency, February 9, 2011 []

14) KFOR’s Final Firefighting Exercise for Kosovo Security Force
 North Atlantic Treaty Organization
 Allied Command Operations
 February 17, 2011 []

15) Push for NATO programme deemed unconstitutional
 Cyprus Mail, February 19, 2011 []