- Nigeria’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has declared a 60-day truce today following the release of the group’s leader Henry Okah earlier this week.
According to an emailed statement, the group said it was halting its attacks on all oil installations to engage government in the peace talks.
"Effective, 0000 Hrs, Wednesday, 15 July 2009, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) will be observing a temporary cease-fire for a 60 day period," Jomo Gbomo, the group's spokesman, said in a statement.
MEND said it will delegate a group of men and women who will negotiate with the government on the group’s demands before it could accept amnesty from the government.
Mr Gbomo said the induction to the peace talks with the government, is a the withdrawal of the military joint task forces from the Gbaramatu communities and the return of all the displaced persons back to their various homes.
"Hopefully, the cease-fire period will create an enabling environment for progressive dialogue," he said.
On Sunday, just hours before Mr Okah was released by the government, MEND fighters killed five oil workers in an attack on an oil tanker wharf in Lagos, advancing its offensive on government.
MEND says it is fighting for greater autonomy for the Niger Delta and a fairer distribution of its oil wealth.
State-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that the monthly oil revenue this year has dropped to around $1bn from an average of $2.2bn in 2008.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 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.