Posted by jinn on 1st March 2011
Ben Amunwa, Niger Delta activist and Platform researcher provides analysis of the conflict, politics and root causes of the Niger Delta crisis. Subjects include the struggle of Ogoni women who succeeded in seeing Shell withdraw from Ogoniland in 1993, the origin of MEND and the December bombings of Ayakoromo.
Watch the full video and join the discussion by adding your comments here.
Tags: Africa, Ken Saro Wiwa, MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Ogoni, oil in Nigeria, Shell
Posted in Africa, Ken Saro Wiwa, MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Ogoni, Shell, Uncategorized, Violence, Women's Human Rights | No Comments »
Posted by jinn on 20th November 2009
The Critical Now
By Oronto Douglas
November 20, 2009
Reposted from NEXT
Militancy and amnesty aside, the challenge of resolving the puzzle that has denied the many communities and clans of the resource rich Niger Delta has reached emergency levels. Although the crisis was easily predictable, successive governments had treated the anger and protests as mere irritations that can be brushed aside with warning shots, arrests or in extreme cases, devastating attacks on communities.
For scholars and survivors, there is something new that should worry all lovers of peace and livelihood – the completed project of the regionalization of anger and the now emerging nationalization of grievances anchored on stubborn defiance.
In the early days of the struggles by our people against the corporations and governments, the focus of mobilisation remained in islands of clans with small numbers of dedicated individuals and rarely was cross clan collaboration involved. In the renewed agitations of the 1990s, the idea of clan collaboration began to take firm root with the emergence of the Chikoko Movement and several groups worked like this. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: amnesty in Nigeria, MEND, NEXT, Niger Delta, Niger Delta Crisis, Oil, Oronto Douglas, Shell
Posted in Amnesty, Ken Saro Wiwa, MEND, Niger Delta, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Posted by jinn on 6th October 2009
On Sunday, several of the Niger Delta’s prominent militants agreed to the Nigerian government’s offer of amnesty at the 11th hour before the deadline on October 4th. However, it’s unclear if this is a step toward peace in the Delta or just another failed attempt of the government to gain back control of the oil producing states. The situation is still tenuous and nothing of substance has been negotiated. Here are a few perspectives:
From The Vanguard (Nigeria Newspaper):
MORE than 90 days after the amnesty package for militants in the Niger Delta came to a close, an air of uncertainty persist over the effectiveness of the initiative, especially against the backdrop of threats by the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to call off its cease-fire and reports that government has been busy acquiring fast attack helicopters and flat bed speed boats for a final showdown with militants. Read Full Article
From the BBC:
By Caroline Duffield
BBC News, Niger DeltaTalk to taxi-drivers and hotel clerks in Nigeria’s Delta region, and you hear the same words again and again: “We must give peace a chance.”
Shopkeepers smile with delight, chattering with customers about decommissioning and peace talks in the country’s oil-producing area.
For the past three months, people have watched militant warlords hold disarmament ceremonies, bringing out thousands of their followers, and stacking guns high in public.
Rocket-propelled grenades, guns, explosives, ammunition and even gunboats have all been dumped. Read Full article
Listen to BBC interview with Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project
Voice of America:
06 October 2009
Thousands of militants surrendered their weapons under the just-concluded amnesty program after years of fighting in the oil-producing Niger Delta. Government officials have hailed the amnesty as a huge success. It may be too early to say whether the initiative will translate into lasting peace. Read Full Article
International Crisis group
Tags: Amnesty, MEND, militants, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Nigerian Military, oil in Nigeria, Tompolo
Posted in Amnesty, MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by jinn on 14th September 2009
Last week, it was reported that the Nigerian government is gearing up for another offensive in the Niger Delta, despite the government’s pledge to support an amnesty and a 60-day ceasefire and the widespread belief that a military offensive will not solve the crisis in the the Delta. Below is an analysis by the Director of the African Security Research Project
Analysis by Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project
Reprinted from Inter Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep 13 (IPS) – There is mounting evidence that the government of Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua is set to launch a full-scale offensive in the Niger Delta when a ceasefire declared by rebels ends on Sep. 15.
And this time, Nigerian military forces will be using special warships, helicopter gunships and troop transports, and unmanned drone intelligence planes and ships sold to Nigeria by Israeli, Malaysian, Singaporean, Dutch and Russian companies.
Israeli and Russian instructors have been providing specialised training to Nigerian Navy and Air Force sailors and pilots in how to operate the ships and helicopters over the past few months, and some of these instructors may help operate them during the offensive.
On Jul. 15, President Yar’adua declared a 60-day amnesty for members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the armed group that has been conducting an insurgency campaign in the Delta for the past five years. The amnesty offer is set to expire at midnight on Oct. 4.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: amnesty in Nigeria, Daniel Volman, Israel, MEND, military offensive, Niger Delta
Posted in MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by jinn on 28th August 2009
In mid-August, while Secretary Clinton was in Nigeria meeting with the President and the Foreign Minister she pledged to explore ways that the U.S. can provide additional military assistance to Nigeria. This disturbing promise signals that that the Obama administration’s foreign policy with regards to Nigeria is headed in the wrong direction. We need you to sign a letter that will send a strong message demanding that Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration rethink the U.S. role in bringing peace to the Niger Delta. Support diplomatic negotiations, not military assistance.
Nigeria is the one of the largest producers of oil in Africa, and is an important strategic partner for the U.S. – Nigeria is the fifth largest exporter of crude oil to the U.S., Africa’s most populous country, and a key country in maintaining regional security in West Africa, making Nigeria one of the most important stops on Secretary Clinton’s 7-country trip to Africa.
During her visit, Secretary Clinton rightly highlighted the importance of electoral reform, the need for transparency and the concern regarding widespread corruption, however her comments indicating the U.S. would explore military assistance for Nigeria is not the right approach to supporting Nigeria in resolving the crisis in the oil producing Niger Delta. Residents of the Niger Delta have struggled for decades to demand their share of the oil wealth which makes up 80 percent of the Nigerian government’s revenues. Since oil was discovered in the late 1950’s the region has become poorer, with most villagers living on less than a $1 a day. In addition, the people have suffered mass human rights violations at the hand of the Nigerian military (sometimes at the behest of U.S. oil companies) when they have spoken up to demand clean water, electricity, and access to healthcare, education and jobs; and environmental destruction by the oil companies including oil spills, water contamination and gas flares that burn 24 hours a day 7 days a week contributing to respiratory illnesses, cancer and significant Co2 emissions. Civil society groups and armed political militant groups alike have called for diplomatic negotiations as the way toward peace. They seek a say in their own governance and a genuine investment in the development of the Niger Delta. Ask Secretary Clinton to support diplomatic negotiations.
View and Sign the letter
Tags: MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, oil in Nigeria, Secretary Clinton
Posted in MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria | 1 Comment »
Posted by jinn on 12th August 2009
By Professor Michael J. Watts, UC Berkeley
As Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and her entourage arrives this week in Abuja, the bright new capital of the Nigeria, their hosts will try to put the best face on what is the gravest political crisis the country has faced since their civil war ended almost four decades ago. The uninspired government of President Musa Yar’ Adua, who took office in 2007 on the back of elections massively fraudulent even by Nigeria’s appallingly low standards, faces a dual political crisis. In the oil-producing Niger delta a long simmering military insurgency has crippled the oil and gas industry which accounts for over 80% of government income and virtually all of Nigeria’s export revenues. A counter-insurgency by federal forces launched in May 2009 produced a ferocious response by the insurgents including in July an audacious attack on key oil installations in Lagos, the economic capital of the country.
In the north of Nigeria, the Muslim heartland and the home-base of the powerful ruling northern oligarchy, a Taliban-styled Islamist group – Boko Haram – was brutally repressed by government security forces in early August. Heavy bombardment of the movement’s compound resulted in large numbers of casualties, and culminated in the extra-judicial killing of the movement’s leader Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri at the hands of the police. Two key economic and political regions of the Nigerian federation are in effect under lockdown. After two years of drift and serial ineptitude, Nigeria now stands at a tipping point.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: boko haram, Hillary Clinton, MEND, Michael Watts, Niger Delta, Nigeria
Posted in MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »