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Clinton to Discuss Governance, Corruption in Nigeria


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Nigeria where she will meet with President Umaru Yar'Adua Wednesday on the fifth stop of her Africa trip. Clinton is expected to discuss good governance and corruption in Nigeria.

Secretary of State Clinton meets separately with President Yar'Adua and several former Nigerian heads of state in what her Africa deputy calls the most important country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson says the Obama administration wants to strengthen and deepen U.S. ties with Nigeria as it faces challenges that include violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta and fighting between Muslims and Christians in the north.

Daphne Wysham is on the board of the U.S.-based Institute for Policy Studies. She says last month's Muslim/Christian violence in the city of Maiduguri that killed hundreds of people has overshadowed the longer-running conflict in the Delta.

"It remains an area that is cordoned off, and so those who have fled are not able to return," said Daphne Wysham. "Our concern is that the violence in the Niger Delta must be addressed with third-party mediation of some sort in order to address the on-going concerns of the people that live in a region that has been despoiled by oil and gas development for the last five of six decades."

Assistant Secretary Carson says the Yar'Adua government must also tackle corruption in a country that is regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world.

Clinton has a town hall meeting with non-governmental organizations working on good governance and transparency.

She is also expected to discuss regional issues with President Yar'Adua, who is the current leader of the Economic Community of West African States. Senior State Department officials say she will likely bring up this month's constitutional referendum in Niger, where President Mamadou Tandja won the right to change the constitution to extend his time in office.

The U.S. State Department says that is a mistake and constitutional term limits in Niger should be followed. It is a position shared by the European Union and the regional ECOWAS alliance, which has threatened to sanction President Tandja if he changes the constitution to run again when his second term expires in December.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Nigeria where she will meet with President Umaru Yar'Adua Wednesday on the fifth stop of her Africa trip. Clinton is expected to discuss good governance and corruption in Nigeria.

Secretary of State Clinton meets separately with President Yar'Adua and several former Nigerian heads of state in what her Africa deputy calls the most important country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson says the Obama administration wants to strengthen and deepen U.S. ties with Nigeria as it faces challenges that include violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta and fighting between Muslims and Christians in the north.

Daphne Wysham is on the board of the U.S.-based Institute for Policy Studies. She says last month's Muslim/Christian violence in the city of Maiduguri that killed hundreds of people has overshadowed the longer-running conflict in the Delta.

"It remains an area that is cordoned off, and so those who have fled are not able to return," said Daphne Wysham. "Our concern is that the violence in the Niger Delta must be addressed with third-party mediation of some sort in order to address the on-going concerns of the people that live in a region that has been despoiled by oil and gas development for the last five of six decades."

Assistant Secretary Carson says the Yar'Adua government must also tackle corruption in a country that is regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world.

Clinton has a town hall meeting with non-governmental organizations working on good governance and transparency.

She is also expected to discuss regional issues with President Yar'Adua, who is the current leader of the Economic Community of West African States. Senior State Department officials say she will likely bring up this month's constitutional referendum in Niger, where President Mamadou Tandja won the right to change the constitution to extend his time in office.

The U.S. State Department says that is a mistake and constitutional term limits in Niger should be followed. It is a position shared by the European Union and the regional ECOWAS alliance, which has threatened to sanction President Tandja if he changes the constitution to run again when his second term expires in December.

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