Saturday, 19 December 2009

News Release From MEND: Warning Strike

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) can confirm that a warning strike carried out by five boats involving thirty five of its fighters armed with assault rifles, rocket launchers and heavy caliber machine guns was carried out at about 0200Hrs today, December 19, 2009 on a major Shell/Chevron crude pipeline in Abonemma, Rivers state of Nigeria.

This attack was carried out for the following reasons:

While the Nigerian government has conveniently tied the advancement of talks on the demands of this group to a sick president, it has not tied the repair of pipelines, exploitation of oil and gas as well as the deployment and re-tooling of troops in the region to the presidents ill health.

While wishing the president a speedy recovery, a situation where the future of the Niger Delta is tied to the health and well being of one man is unacceptable.

The government through the Bayelsa state governor, ministers for defense and information has been disseminating propaganda aimed at foreign investors claiming that the situation in the Niger Delta is under control. This assertion is far from the truth.

Also the government has been offering bribes to a number of militants who surrendered their birth rights under its amnesty program in the form of contracts. The government perceives this individuals to wield some kind of influence in the region. The group wants to make it abundantly clear that all those who have capitulated are of no significance to the continuation of the struggle.

MEND is committed to continue its fight for the restoration of the land and rights of the people of the Niger Delta which has been stolen for fifty years.

MEND remains open to dialogue, however the indefinite ceasefire ordered by the group on Sunday, October 25, 2009 will be reviewed within thirty days from today, December 19, 2009.

Jomo Gbomo