World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Niger Delta: Fuelling the Crisis

Fuelling the Niger Delta Crisis

Dakar/Brussels: Militant groups in the Niger Delta are proliferating, and the country’s security situation will degenerate further unless President Obasanjo and his administration urgently address the region’s grievances.

Fuelling the Niger Delta Crisis,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group and the third in a series of reports on Nigeria, examines the often hazy overlap between the militant Niger Delta cause and criminal and political motives, and identifies the steps required to defuse the conflict. Less than a year before Nigeria’s national elections, a number of militant groups have begun allying themselves to local politicians with electoral aspirations. Piracy, kidnappings and attacks against government and oil industry targets have increased and threaten to escalate and cripple the oil industry.

“The militant groups have legitimate grievances, such as poverty, environmental destruction and government corruption, but they are using them to justify increasingly damaging attacks against government and oil industry targets”, says Nnamdi Obasi, Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Nigeria. “Incentives for these attacks must be removed if there is to be any hope of mitigating the violence”.

The militant groups, most of which appear at least loosely linked with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), know they can accomplish their goals without winning major battles. It does not require a sophisticated insurgency to significantly disrupt Nigeria’s oil production. In this regard, the militants have a powerful weapon in their arsenal: the growing anger among the region’s twenty million inhabitants who feel the government takes much more than it gives. Popular anger against the government has allowed these groups to operate openly in many communities.

Sweeping economic and political reforms with visible benefits to the local population are critical. The Nigerian federal government should focus first on granting a degree of resource control to local communities, and engage in negotiations with a broad-based delegation of Niger Deltans. State governments should implement economic reforms that generate income for health, education and transportation projects. The international community should support a comprehensive, independent environmental impact assessment of the Delta. Energy companies should focus on increasing transparency, accountability, local participation and ownership.

“Policymakers – whether they be in Nigeria or countries that rely on Nigeria’s oil – need to understand that reform is the only way to promote stability in the Delta”, says John Norris, Crisis Group's Africa Program Executive.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>