Unmasking the Niger Delta Avengers
May 16, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
(PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
A new militant group has emerged and is quickly gaining notoriety in the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta Avengers rose to global prominence after claiming responsibility for two attacks in May. First, the group bombed a Chevron facility off the coast of Escravos on May 4. Just over a week later, another explosion occurred at Chevron Nigeria Ltd.'s Marakaba line oil facility in Warri. In the wake of the attacks, Shell and other area operators have withdrawn personnel, shutting down facilities and plunging Nigeria's output to levels not seen since the early 1990s.
Beyond the Niger Delta Avengers' flair for chaos, little is known about the group, which conceals its members' identities. After a Nigerian military commander said the group hails from Gbaramatu Kingdom in the South-West Local Government Area, military forces moved into the region in hopes of disrupting any plots. But Nigerian officials are still struggling to find out who the Niger Delta Avengers are, and even former Niger Delta militants do not seem to know.