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Niger Delta militants on Tuesday accused Chevron of using the Nigerian military to attack ethnic Ijaw villagers and warned....
Niger Delta militants on Tuesday accused Chevron of using the Nigerian military to attack ethnic Ijaw villagers and warned of reprisals if the attacks continued.
“If this incessant harassment is not stopped forthwith, we are not going to hesitate to descend mercilessly on ChevronTexaco Nigeria's interests anywhere in Nigeria,” the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in a statement to AFP.
“From the cry of the people, it has become unbearable, hence this warning to the international community and the Federal Government to immediately call ChevronTexaco to order,” it said.
It said a similar attack by the military in February forced the militants to kidnap nine expatriate oil workers who were released after several days in captivity.
There would be more trouble “if the military does not stop its aggression against Ijaw ethnic nationalities in the waterways,” it warned.
The group said it had uncovered a plot by the military to attack the Ijaw community of Gbaramatu. “We are advising ChevronTexaco and the Nigerian military to desist from the planned invasion of any Ijaw community because it will be definitely crushed with dire consequences by our movement with our native military capabilities,” it said.
Two weeks ago, four navy officers escorting a convoy of boats working for Chevron were killed by militants near Chanomi creek in the troubled region. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but MEND made a veiled reference to the attack on Tuesday.
“We express our condolence to the families of the naval (officers) that lost their lives,” it said. “The wives and family members of all military personnel should discourage husbands from accepting postings to the Niger Delta region until the question of equity and injustice is redressed by the Federal Government,” it said.
The group reiterated its “determination and commitment to the emancipation of the Niger Delta no matter whose horse is gored.”
Some 25-security personnel have been killed since January when militants seeking local control of Nigeria's multi-billion-dollar oil and gas resources launched attacks on oil firms and personnel in the region.
At least 32 expatriate oil workers have also been kidnapped but all have been released unharmed after days or weeks in captivity.
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