.يولد جميع الناس أحرارا متساوين في الكرامة والحقوق. وقد وهبوا عقلا وضميرا وعليهم أن يعامل بعضهم بعضا بروح الإخاء‎
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Friday, July 6, 2007

Nigeria: Mend Ends Truce With FG - Five Oil Workers Kidnapped

Vanguard (Lagos)
5 July 2007
Hector Igbikiowubo, George Onah & Jimitota Onoyume - Port Harcourt

THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), yesterday, announced the end of its month-long suspension of attacks on oil installations in the area, called to allow talks with the new government.
Simultaneously, militants attacked rig two in Soku community, belonging to Shell and abducted five expatriate workers: a Venezuelan, two New Zealanders, an Australian and a Lebanese.
"We have decided to put an end to the truce," the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an email.
The group announced the truce on June 3, but said it would resume attacks after a month if certain conditions were not met.
These include the release of two detained Niger Delta separatist leaders, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, jailed since 2005, and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of Bayelsa State.
Asari Dokubo was released by the Federal High Court, Abuja on June 14 for "health reasons", but MEND spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said in the email: "After the release of Asari, nothing else has happened."
There were now "more serious" issues which "foster militancy" in the oil-rich region, the statement said, "such as the theft of our resources and the enslavement of the people of the delta.
"The military has continued to murder unarmed civilians with impunity and there are countless indigenes of the delta still in jail without trial. We cannot afford to remain silent in the face of all this," it said.
The truce was called soon after President Umaru Yar'Adua took power on May 29. MEND said it wanted to give the new administration time to work towards a "just peace" in the Niger Delta.
"So far, we have little cause to think that Yar'Adua will be entirely different from the previous government. It is too early for him to be trusted," Jomo Gbomo said.
The Rivers State police command confirmed the latest abduction, saying the affected persons were picked up along the waterways of Soku Community in the early hours of the day.
Contacted, a high-ranking official of MEND, who gave his name as Comrade Johnson Dagger-Point said: "When the government is ready to talk with us, we will be ready to listen. What they are talking about now is certainly not about the sufferings in the creeks, fishing ports, villages and our towns.
Dagger-Point's identity could not be verified because his phone number was not displayed but he, however, warned that the "demands of MEND to the Federal Government have not been fully met. Until these demands are fully met, we shall continue to wage war against the government to the end."

He did not disclose what the outstanding demands were but simply said: "We will not repeat ourselves any more."
A security source told Vanguard that the Joint Task Force (JTF) team had deployed gun boats in the area. This was coming barely a day after two Naval personnel reportedly met their end on the high sea in the hands of a dreaded cult group. According to the Director, Navy Information, Captain Obiora Medani, the militants in about 12 speed boats opened fire on a single Naval boat. He said two of his men had been missing since after the attack
This was coming a few days after the visit of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to the state to specifically appeal to militants to cease hostilities in the region for meaningful development to be recorded in the area.

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