Elites, Oil and Violence Mitigation in the Niger Delta
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The crisis in the oil-rich Niger Delta in Nigeria is one of the world’s forgotten conflicts in which thousands have been killed and the country’s vital oil industry has suffered. In the past twenty years, environmental destruction, youth unemployment, poverty and organised crime (such as massive oil theft) have persisted or even increased. The federal government’s brutal military intervention, ineffective development initiatives and a strategy of coopting powerful militant group leaders with judicial and economic benefits have failed to address the causes and drivers of conflict. A bolder, longer-term approach to building lasting peace in the Niger Delta is urgently needed, in which Nigeria’s elite and their international partners commit to building a pro-development political settlement through far-reaching governance reforms.