29 January 2015   2 comments

Nigeria has an important presidential election on 14 February, and it seems as if the inability of the current government of Goodluck Jonathan to control the radical group, Boko Haram, is going to be a critical issue in the election.  President Jonathan is opposed by Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim leader from the north of Nigeria where Boko Haram is quite strong.  It does not, however, appear as if Buhari has excited much of the Nigerian electorate.

The Russian economy continues to suffer from the Western sanctions and the drop in the price of oil.  The critical question is how the economic slowdown will affect President Putin’s political power.  Most polls indicate that Russians strongly support President Putin’s strong nationalist stance.  But perhaps a critical variable is the extent to which the wealthiest Russians support Putin’s policies which have had such an adverse effect on their incomes.

For four months the Islamic State and the Kurdish peshmerga have fought over the Syrian town of Kobani.  The Kurds have finally secured the town, but the photographs of the destruction are truly appalling.  The Kurds were successful in preserving their freedom, but the costs of that victory were extraordinarily high.


Posted January 30, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “29 January 2015

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  1. Thanks for the piece on Nigeria and Boko Haram. The 3 articles you reference are excellent. But I found the map is a little confusing; hard to tell the difference between ‘Reputedly controlled by Boko Haram’ or ‘Major attack this year.’ I agree with your conclusion. However from what I hear and read, voters are getting more and more disenchanted with Goodluck Jonathan, so the result may be as if Buhari excited them.
    Have you read about the pact Kofi Annan negotiated with all candidates to keep the elections peaceful?


  2. I hadn’t heard about Kofi Annan’s role–good for him! Let’s hope the elections are peaceful.


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