Nigeria: Mend issues threat

2010-11-19 21:02

Lagos - The main militant group in Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta said on Friday it will launch new attacks, despite a recent military crackdown.

The warning by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) came as Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Nigerian subsidiary announced Friday one of its major pipelines in the region suffered enough damage to affect crude oil shipments.

Men sent an email to journalists claiming the group ambushed 14 army gunboats that were heading toward one of their camps on Thursday.

Mend said they had killed 10 soldiers and injured 17 others in the fight, but a military spokesperson denied their claims.

"They have lost the struggle and they are using collaborators in the media to regain their initiatives," Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Antigha said of Mend.

However, an official at a hospital in Delta state told The Associated Press that doctors had treated at least nine soldiers wounded in an attack by militants in the delta.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak with journalists.

On Wednesday night, a military operation freed 19 hostages in the oil region held by Mend - including seven expatriate workers.

Mend promised to launch new assaults despite losing the hostages.

"We will soon commence with an all-out attack on oil installations across the Niger Delta," Mend's email read on Friday.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who comes from the Niger Delta, praised the soldiers on Friday for the rescue on his official profile on the social networking website Facebook.

"For the Niger Delta, I believe the worst is over," Jonathan said.

Hopeful message

Jonathan's hopeful message came as Shell declared "force majeure"on  Friday on its Bonny Light crude oil shipments.

The term is used when it is impossible for an oil company to cover the promised supply from the field.

Shell said the damage occurred on Shell's Trans Niger pipeline, a major conduit for Shell through the Niger Delta, an oil-rich region of swamps, mangroves and creeks.

The company said it had no information about what caused the damage, but said an investigation was ongoing.

Pipelines and rigs operated by Shell, the first oil company to come to the Niger Delta more than 50 years ago, remain lucrative targets for militants and criminals wanting to steal crude in the region.

Most pipelines run through communities long suspicious of foreign oil firms, as they say exploration only brought endemic poverty and years of pollution to the region.

Nigeria is one of the top crude oil suppliers to the US.

Militants in the delta want more oil money to come to an area still gripped by abject poverty and pollution after more than 50 years of oil production.

However, nebulous ties exist between militants, criminal gangs operating in the area and wealthy politicians who benefit from oil revenue in the region.

Nigeria, an Opec-member nation, has seen its oil production rise to 2.2 million barrels a day since a government-sponsored amnesty program last year offered cash pay outs and the promise of job training to former fighters and commanders.

Despite the amnesty, a contingent of Mend fighters continues a campaign against the government.

- AP
Read more on:    opec  |  mend  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region


Cape Winelands
Paarl Media

Roads Design Technologist

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town Engineering
R250 000 - R400 000 Per Year

Executive Chef

Western Cape
Origin Foodservice Management
R11 000 - R13 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.