Thursday, 22 September 2011

News Report: Nigerian Military Offers Arms Amnesty In Oil Region

Credit: Reuters
Nigeria's military said on Thursday it was beginning a week-long arms amnesty in the oil-producing Niger Delta, a vast wetlands region where violent clashes involving armed gangs, oil companies and authorities are common.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan brokered an amnesty with militants in the Niger Delta in 2009, which helped bring a halt to large-scale sabotage attacks on oil facilities.
Attacks by militants, who claimed they were fighting for a fairer share of the country's oil wealth, cut out around a third of the OPEC members crude oil production at their height in 2006 and prompted spikes in global oil prices.
Pipeline sabotage, oil theft and armed robberies are still common in the delta, where thousands of miles of creeks and waterways vein through the swamplands on the southern tip of Africa's most populous nation.
"So far, the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta has mopped several thousand of arms and ammunition which would otherwise have been used to perpetrate crime in the country," said Mohammed Yerima, Director of Defence Information.
"In spite of the antics of detractors, the JTF has resolved to take the current drive in arms recovery to a greater level. To this end, the JTF is issuing seven days period of grace to everyone bearing arms illegally in the Niger Delta region to come forward and submit them. At the end of this period, anyone found with illegal arms will be arrested and prosecuted."