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Nigeria’s militant group to resume attacks

world Updated: Oct 09, 2009 10:17 IST

Nigeria’s main militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on Friday said it will resume attacks, even as the Nigerian government announced that more than 8,000 militants have surrendered their arms as part of an amnesty programme.

MEND reacted to the announcement made by Nigeria’s Information and Communications minister, Professor Dora Akunyili that the disarmament was a success.

But the statement signed by MEND’s spokesperson, Gbomo Jomo said it is another feeble attempt at re-branding Nigeria.

“The Nigerian government estimated a surrender of at least 10,000 weapons at the inception of this exercise. According to government, an excess of 10,000 militants surrendered. Most of those who participated in this fraud were rented by the government in the hope that real militants would be persuaded to emerge,” Jomo said.

He alleged that most of the weapons recovered were purchased for this purpose and the government does not have upto two thousand of the several thousand weapons in the delta to show for the exercise.

MEND also warned oil companies to disregard the Nigerian government’s announcement adding that it would resume attacks against the oil industry at the expiration of a ceasefire it unilaterally declared a few weeks ago.

The group threatened to burn down all attacked installations and no longer limit its attacks to the destruction of pipelines.

The Niger Delta militants who claim to be fighting for resource control in the oil rich region of Nigeria started disarming some months ago after being offered amnesty by the country’s President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.