South Africa-Nigeria security: guns, sadza and plantain
But a more positive pattern is emerging according to Nigeria’s Kayode Fayemi. “On negotiations to end South Sudan’s war, you have Abdulsalami Abubakar and Thabo Mbeki as special envoys on the same side pushing for agreement. that is really important,” he says.
Big African countries, which have the economic and military means, can change conditions on the ground in ways that outside countries and agencies cannot.
Nigeria helped to restore stability in Liberia and Sierra Leone, although they almost became Abuja’s fiefdoms. South Africa’s operations in Lesotho turned into a tragic farce, but its DRC intervention battalion, alongside Tanzania’s and Angola’s, was highly successful, outshining the UN mission.
Although both countries have contributed troops to the UN and AU mission in Darfur, neither have been able to protect civilians from the Khartoum regime’s escalating attacks.
Once in power, President Buhari quickly ended a clandestine cooperation deal president Jonathan’s government had with South African mercenaries to fly helicopter gunship missions against Boko Haram-held towns in north-eastern Nigeria.
Although the mercenaries claimed to have regained 90% of Boko Haram’s territory, Buhari insisted that the Nigerian commanders would set up a headquarters in the region and retake full control of military operations.