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Unformatted text preview: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2008 92 The Internationalization of Oil Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria* Victor Ojakorotu ** Abstract This paper unpacks the crisis in the Niger Delta of Nigeria with reference to its external dimensions by which is meant the involvement of international non-governmental organisations in the politics of local environmental governance. It takes as its point of departure the events (in the 1990s) that underpinned the international communitys engagement with an issue that could have been regarded as Nigerias domestic affair and follows with an assessment of the impact of internationalisation of the crisis on the major actors in the region. It is noted that the crisis in the Niger Delta has been predicated for over four decades on a number of complex issues in Nigerias geo-political landscape. The emergence of organized pressure groups (in the early 1990s) and their protestations against human rights abuses and environmental problems in the region added a new dimension to the crisis. In tackling its thematic concern, this paper interrogates the involvement of the international civil society in the Niger Delta and concludes with an appraisal of the extent to which the internationalisation of the crisis engendered both attitudinal and policy shifts on the part of the main actors. Introduction Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is undisputedly one of the most richly endowed countries on the continent. It boasts of immense resources human and material which provide opportunities for national development. Historically, Nigerias potentials for rapid industrialization and development had been recognized before the countrys independence in 1960. The enormity and profitability of the countrys natural resources and the atmosphere of relative political tranquillity within which independence was attained were then regarded as factors that were potentially conducive to economic prosperity and political stability. In other words, the availability of these mineral resources in commercial quantities and their potential Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2008 93 for high foreign revenue yield as well as the political structure (with the pre-eminence of regionalism) and its constitutional guarantees reinforced such optimisms regarding a stable and prosperous Nigeria. However, political crisis in the early 1960s (especially in the Western region), a three-year civil war (1967-70), sustained military dictatorship, a series of ethno-religious clashes, and the violence in the Niger Delta region seemed to have blurred such hopes....
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course BIOL 227 taught by Professor Koob during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.
- Fall '11