Nigeria: May 3, 2004




Oil companies in the Niger delta are shutting down pumping operations rather than continue to deal with violence and extortion by local tribal gangs. The tribal violence is partly directed at the government, whose officials have stolen most of the oil profits and not shared much of the oil revenue with the tribes in the oil region. The oil companies have tried to make deals, spending millions of dollars on public works and bribes, but it has not stopped the violence. The government, alarmed at the oil company plans (which will cut government revenue by millions of dollars a year), has sent more troops and police into the area. But this has just given the tribe based gangs more targets.

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