- Nigeria’s main militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta has ordered a blockade on key water channel for oil vessels in the Niger Delta to halt oil exports in the oil rich region.
The announcement of the blockade came just days after Nigeria’s military helicopter and gunboat raided MEND camps prompting rebels to declare war on military.
According to the MEND’s emailed statement, the group has ordered the blockade of key waterway channels to oil industry vessels both for the export of crude and gas and importation of refined petroleum products.
"This means vessels now ply such routes at their risk," MEND said in an e-mailed statement.
However, Nigerian forces in the Delta have discarded MEND’s order as mere threats vowing to protect all main oil companies in the region.
Local rights groups said thousands of villagers are trapped in the mangrove creeks of the Niger Delta as security forces continue their offensive against militants in the region. The main militant group accused government forces of genocide, but the military denies the accusation.
They further said the military's use of helicopter and gunboats has led to resistance by the rebels groups, urging the warring parties to allow humanitarian access to those displaced.
MEND had issued a deadline last week for oil companies to pull out of the Niger Delta.
MEND, which claims to be fighting for a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth for local people, last week said a group allied to it attacked two ships and captured the Filipino crew. It also said it had sabotaged two recently repaired oil pipelines at the weekend and vowed to destroy others.
The rebellion and violence in the delta has cut Nigeria's oil output by about a fifth since early 2006. A number of armed groups operate across the region, launching attacks on oil installations and pipelines, as well as abducting oil workers and local officials.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.