Nigeria in Political Transition [July 28, 2006]   [open pdf - 77KB]

"Relations between the United States and Nigeria improved with the transfer of power to a civilian government. In late October 1999, President Obasanjo met with President Clinton and other senior officials in Washington. President Clinton pledged a substantial increase in U.S. assistance to Nigeria. In August 2000, President Clinton paid a state visit to Nigeria. He met with President Obasanjo in the capital of Abuja and addressed the Nigerian parliament. Several new U.S. initiatives were announced, including increased support for AIDS prevention and treatment programs in Nigeria and enhanced trade and commercial development. In May 2001, President Obasanjo met with President Bush and other senior officials. The two presidents discussed a wide range of issues, including trade, peacekeeping, and the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. In early November 2001, President Obasanjo visited Washington to express his government's support for the U.S.-led anti-terrorism campaign and returned to Washington in June 2002. In July 2003, President Bush visited Nigeria while on a five-day, five-country trip to Africa. President Obasanjo visted Washington in 2005 and in 2006. Nigeria continues to make progress in strengthening its fragile democracy but faces serious economic challenges. Nigeria remains relatively stable, although ethnic and religious clashes in some parts of the country have led to massive displacement of civilian populations. Thousands of civilians have been killed over the past several years and many more wounded in religious clashes. Under President Obasanjo, Nigeria has emerged as a major player in Africa. President Obasanjo took a leading role in the creation of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU). Nigeria also played an important role in facilitating negotiations between the government of Sudan and the Darfur rebels. In August 2003, Nigeria sent an estimated 1,500 troops to Liberia as part of a West African-led peacekeeping force."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33594
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