A New Militant Group In the Niger Delta?

MIN READFeb 26, 2016 | 12:03 GMT

Fighters with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) raise their rifles to celebrate news of a successful operation in 2008.


Another oil pipeline in Nigeria's Niger Delta region has been disrupted. Royal Dutch Shell's Forcados Pipeline in Burutu, Delta state, was ruptured Feb. 14, which caused the entire pipeline to shut down. That it occurred in the oil-rich region, where militants have long harassed energy infrastructure for political and financial gain, is not surprising. What is remarkable is that a hitherto unheard of militant group reportedly carried out the attack. The so-called Niger Delta Avengers claimed responsibility for the damage to the pipeline, immediately reviving fears of militancy in the lucrative region. Though it is tempting to see the emergence of an entirely new militant group as heralding greater instability in the Niger Delta -- a concern not necessarily unwarranted, given the area's history -- the attack and other recent endeavors to halt energy production have mostly been in vain. ...

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