03 October 2021

Kenya: In the Pandora Papers – “hundreds of thousands of pages of administrative paperwork from the archives of 14 law firms and service providers in Panama and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and other tax havens” – reveal a network of offshore companies secretly owned by Uhuru Kenyatta’s family. The family has not yet commented the revelations.

02 October 2021

Nigeria: At age 61, the country is beset by many problems. But there has also been progress. Though the 40% of the population living below the poverty line and the many unemployed will find it difficult to believe, Nigeria has “moved from lower income to lower-middle income status, (…) during the Fourth Republic” which started with the adoption of a new constitution on 29th of May 1999. Of late, the sharp decline in world market oil prices between 2014 and 2016 has put the economy under great stress. To tap into the country’s immense potential, better politico-economic governance is needed, says the author of this article that seems overall too little political and overly technical and growth-oriented.

Radicalisation: “(A)dults seek and maintain relationships with corporeal objects such as places and people as well as non-corporeal objects such as religious entities.” In a context of socio-political grievances, attachment disruption resp. fractured relationships may be at the root of many a radicalisation. An example is the radicalisation of conservative nationalists in Europe, the US and Australia following the influx of migrants and the normalisation of Islam in their societies. Another example is the radicalisation of Boko Haram as a reaction to the mishandling of late Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf by the authorities resulting in his death and in him becoming a martyr. For his group’s members, “(t)here was a perceived threat to their attachment, whether it was the connections they had with sacred objects (such as the Quran, Sharia Law), the need for safeguarding their ancestral lands over Western influence, or their religious and or political figure (in the person of Mohammed Yusuf), to whom they had forged their sense of identity and found a haven of safety.” According to the author, what is needed is that jihadists and radicalised people be encouraged “to detach from the attachments that no longer serve them” so that they become able “to explore new forms of meanings and relationship experiences, so as to disentangle themselves from the ties that impair their sense of self and others.”

Nigeria/deradicalization: Since a military approach cannot end terrorism, Abuja has since 2013 adopted a soft approach to the conflict in the north-east of the country. Under Buhari, this “National Security Corridor” was remodelled and renamed “Operation Safe Corridor”. Under it, a 52-week programme is administered to male defectors in Mallam Sidi rehabilitation camp (in Gombe State) and for female and child defectors in Bulumkutu Rehabilitation Centre in Maiduguri (Borno State). The articles discusses the problems that this deradicalization programme has encountered – amongst them that there are no preemptive measures to prevent radicalisation.