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September 18, 2008
Nigerian militants threaten “oil war”

Niger River Delta, Nigeria


AUDIO: Sarah Simpson of The Christian Science Monitor provides
an update on the crisis.

Rebel militants threatened an “oil war” in Nigeria after attacks on Shell and Chevron flow stations earlier this week.  Oil companies claim that the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) has killed 100 people and still holds 27 oil workers hostage.

Pipeline bombings and other attacks began on September 13 when the rebel militia said they reacted to an unprovoked attack by the Nigerian military.  MEND has ordered oil companies in the oil-rich region to evacuate or risk attack with the objective of gaining control of the oil-rich resources of this poverty-stricken East African nation.

Here is a Reuters video about Nigeria’s oil industry, the oil pollution in the region and the impetus for Nigerians to join militant groups.

The blog “Reginald’s Weblog” writes about Nigeria’s relationship with oil companies and questions whether these attacks will lead to a civil war.

Blogger “Nigerian Curiosity” says that war is not an option, and some worry that the battle between militants and the government could throw Nigeria into violent anarchy.

The blog “Armchair Enlightened Despot” highlights the corrupt relationship between the government and rebel militias and asserts that the Nigerian people continue to suffer.

The violence has halted oil production by 20 percent in Nigeria. The Niger Delta is currently the U.S.’s fifth largest supplier of crude imports.

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