Nigeria: MEND Mauled And Defiant


June 8, 2009: The Joint (army-navy-air force) Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta believes that a month of intense operations have broken the power of MEND. Maybe, but the major problem in the delta is the oil stealing gangs, who have reduced oil production by about 50 percent over the last four years. While MEND wants justice for the people of the delta, the gangs just want to punch holes in the pipelines, steal the oil and smuggle it out of the country (and sell it). The JTF has damaged some of the oil gangs, and arrested tribal separatist leaders not associated with MEND. But oil production is still down.

June 7, 2009: In central Nigeria (Plateau state), more tribal violence broke out, leaving at least three dead.

June 6, 2009: MEND has given oil workers (local and foreign) 72 hours to leave their jobs, or risk injury and death. MEND has issued these kinds of threats before, and has never been able to follow up with much more than token violence.

June 5, 2009: The military destroyed two more MEND camps.

June 2, 2009: Navy patrol boats were called to rescue three passenger boats captured by MEND rebels near Buguma creek in Rivers State of the Niger Delta. Seven rebels were killed, and their boats and weapons captured.

May 31, 2009: Troops destroyed another MEND camp near Buguma creek in Rivers State of the Niger Delta. In the last month, the military has found and destroyed about one camp a week. Up until now, MEND has been defiant after each such defeat. But now the rebels are offering to negotiate a ceasefire. MEND denies that the loss of the camps is hurting them, but MEND fighters are suffering morale problems. All this army and navy activity

May 29, 2009: The government again offered amnesty for rebels in the Niger Delta. Again, MEND, the principal rebel group, rejected the amnesty offer.




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