Niger Delta rebels declare “oil war”

Nigeria’s main militant group in the Niger Delta declared an “oil war” against foreign-owned companies working in the region in a Sept. 14 statement. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it had launched an operation dubbed “Hurricane Barbarossa.” The opening attacks of the operation destroyed flow stations and oil pipelines, killing 22 Nigerian soldiers. MEND said it launched the operation after government troops attacked one of its positions a day earlier with aerial and marine forces. Chevron confirmed one of its oil platforms was attacked by rebels. Violence in the Niger Delta has halted a fifth of the country’s oil production since 2006. (AlJazeera, Sept. 14)

US filmmaker Andrew Berends, held by Nigerian security officials for 10 days after being detained in the Delta region, was put on a flight to Germany Sept. 9. His translator, Samuel George, continues to face interrogation. (Committee to Protect Journalists, Sept. 9)

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