Nigeria’s MEND rebels threaten to reduce oil production to zero
BY ELISHA BALA-GBOGBO
ABUJA, Nigeria (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s Movement for the Emancipation of The Niger Delta rebels plans to begin a violent campaign of disrupting oil output in Africa’s top producer after it attacked a military patrol boat on Jan. 25.
The group also known as MEND claimed responsibility for an attack on a military Joint Task Force patrol in the Nembe-Bassanbiri waterways in Bayelsa State, according to an emailed statement from MEND spokesman Jomo Gbomo.
“At the right time, we will reduce Nigerian oil production to zero by 2015 and drive off our land, all thieving oil companies,” Gbomo said. The “relatively insignificant” Jan. 25 attack was “a sign of things to come.”
Attacks including kidnappings and bombing of oil installations by groups including MEND, the main rebel group in the Delta, cut more than 28 percent of Nigeria’s oil output from 2006 to 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The violence declined after thousands of fighters accepted a government amnesty offer in 2009 and disarmed.
During its planned campaign of violence, “MEND will pay considerable attention to dealing with the occupying Nigerian government forces in the Niger Delta that stand in our way,” Gbomo said.