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Society | Politics

Royal Dutch shell halts production in Nigeria

afrol News, 1 February - Nigeria’s giant oil producer, Royal Dutch Shell has shut three oil flow stations in the Niger Delta after sabotage on its pipelines, Shell’s spokesperson has said in a statement.

The attack on the oil pipeline came shortly after Nigeria's militant group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said it was ending the truce it declared last October.

“We have shut in some flow stations which produce into the line and the leak has stopped,” Precious Okolobo said, further stating that the repair work is expected to commence soon.

According to local reports, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

MEND was however outright to announce that it was not directly responsible for the attack.

Reports said the leak was detected on 30 January, the same day the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main rebel group in the region, said it was ending an “indefinite cease-fire” after three months.

Attacks by armed groups in the Niger River delta, home to Africa’s largest oil and gas industry, cut more than 25 percent of Nigeria’s crude production in the four years through 2009.

MEND has demanded that local residents be given a greater share in profits from the oil produced by the region, but much of the violence in the oil rich region has been carried out by criminal gangs kidnapping oil workers for ransoms.

MEND warned oil companies to prepare for an "all-out onslaught" against installations and personnel.

Analysts later said it was not immediately clear if this statement came from the whole of Mend or just a faction that did not accept the offer of an amnesty from the Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Under the amnesty, thousands of fighters handed in their weapons last year.

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Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

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Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

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