The escalating conflicts in West AfricaNovember 14, 2012
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED) issues monthly reports on armed violence around the world. This month’s report focuses on West Africa (link will open a pdf). This region is of interest to EnerGeoPolitics because the Gulf of Guinea and the states that border it are oil rich, and also because recent reports indicate that the US and other Western nations may be preparing for deeper military engagement against Muslim extremists in the region. These reports focus on Mali and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but most violent group in the region is Boko Haram, fighting primarily in Nigeria. Nigeria is the most significant oil producer in the region, and it would not be surprising to see Western forces pulled into combat against Boko Haram, and/or vice versa. Mali may simply be the pretext by which NATO is able to engage in Nigeria. It is certainly something to which readers of this site should pay much attention.