September 13, 2010

Nigeria on the Brink

What Happens If the 2011 Elections Fail?

John Campbell

September 9, 2010


The January 2011 elections could tear Nigeria apart. Is there anything the Obama administration can do to help the country avoid North-South conflict or a military coup?

JOHN CAMPBELL, the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria from 2004 to 2007, is the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His book, Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in November.

Nigeria's elections last April were among the most seriously flawed in the country's history, thanks largely to the manipulations of the U.S.-backed ruling party. With Nigerians increasingly clamoring for accountability, Washington's continuing support could generate more unrest -- and could pose a risk both to oil supplies coming out of Nigeria and to the stability of West Africa.

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