Speakers: Peter M. Lewis and Rotimi T. Suberu Presider: Walter Russell Mead
Watch Peter M. Lewis, director of Africa studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul A. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and Rotimi T. Suberu, senior fellow for the Jennings Randolph fellowship program at the United States Institute for Peace, discuss the implications of the recent Nigerian elections for relations between Nigeria's Muslim North and Christian South.
Nigeria has made progress since its return to democracy in 1999. But a political system crippled by corruption and dogged by ethnic tensions threatens to derail the country from its path toward good governance.
“For policymakers everywhere, Nigeria should be the central African question. No country’s fate is so decisive for the continent. No other country across a range of issues has the power so thoroughly to shape outcomes elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. If Nigeria works well, so might Africa. If the democratic experiment in Nigeria stalls, and development and governance stagnate, the rest of Africa suffers and loses hope,” concludes a new Council Special Report.
This report describes what steps might be taken by Nigerians and the international community to avoid a breakdown of democracy, and possibly stability, in the wake of Nigeria’s April 2007 electoral contest and to tackle Nigeria’s fundamental challenges of governance, security, and development in the longer term.
In a continent where despotism often wins the day, the Nigerian Senate's vote to reject a constitutional amendment that would have allowed President Olusegun Obasanjo to run for a third term of office is notable - even more so since Obasanjo has decided to abide by it.
Nigeria’s political temperature continues to rise as moves to alter the constitution to extend presidential term limits stir protests across the country. The country is already beset by sectarian violence and ongoing clashes with militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »