Following a disputed election that was marred by unrest in western regions, attention will soon shift to economic management, debt sustainability, and the succession of long-time President Paul Biya.
An escalation of violence is likely in the pre-election period in the Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions, while road closures, kidnap threats, and robberies will pose a heightened risk in afflicted locations.
The redeployment of regional military assets away from the Lake Chad basin has opened an opportunity for Islamist militants to consolidate and prepare a new offensive in northeast Nigeria ahead of the 2019 elections.
Ahead of elections in October, security threats derived from terrorism and insurgency could further hamper the vote’s credibility, while debt sustainability will become a more serious issue in the longer term.
As foreign currency debt issuance reaches a new record so far this year, there are growing concerns over debt servicing sustainability, while several African economies are at serious risk of debt distress.
Financially motivated abductions, including of expatriates, are likely to increase as separatist militants seek fresh sources of funding to continue their armed insurgency against the Cameroonian state.
A spate of kidnappings and hijackings in the Gulf of Guinea indicate that piracy risks remain a serious threat in unpoliced waters, despite a more coordinated intervention by regional maritime policing forces.
The controversial extradition of Cameroonian separatist leaders and other bilateral collaboration indicate a growing potential for spill-over of violence to Nigeria’s south eastern border communities.
The start of the year has been marked by a wave of anti-austerity protests across major North African and Sahel cities. This special report assesses the risk of further protests and of the threat of violence spreading to previously unaffected countries.
The evacuation of villages by government troops and banditry tactics by militants has triggered a refugee crisis with ample scope for violent spill-over into Nigeria, while there remains little opportunity for negotiations as elections approach this year.
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