Analysis

Nigeria: Religious Cleansing Threats Imperil Civil Society
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) meets with the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III who has condemned the attacks by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. (WOLE EMMANUEL/AFP/Getty Images)
January 4, 2012
| Security, Energy
| Africa, The Americas
Summary
The strings of civil society in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, will likely become loosened and maybe undone in 2012 with more terrorist attacks on Christians and growing civil unrest over poor economic conditions.

Boko Haram, the radical Islamist terrorist group that bombed Catholic churches on Christmas Day, killing almost 50, is threatening more attacks if Christians don't leave the Muslim-dominated northern part of the country by this Friday. Leaders of Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is sacrilege,” have also said they are ready to fight any Nigerian troops sent to confront them.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in four states after the Christmas Day bombings and warned that Nigerian troops would go door-to-door in areas of the north, hunting down Boko Haram members. The government has also advised Christians living in the north to ignore the order to vacate.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians gathered yesterday to protest the government’s decision to lower fuel subsidies and raise gasoline prices from 40 to 86 centers per liter.

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