Nigerian Militants to Halt Attacks for 1 Month

The main militant group operating Nigeria's oil region announced a month-long cease fire last week to allow the country's new president time to resolve the country's oil conflict.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta did not say it would halt the kidnappings of foreign oil workers, but the group did release six oil workers held for a month as a peace offering to the new government.

Last week, Umaru Yar'Adua was sworn in as the new Nigerian president, replacing Olusegun Obasanjo, who stepped down after eight years.

In his inaugural address, Yar'Adua called for an immediate end to oil-related violence in the Niger Delta, which has left many dead and has hamstrung the country's production capacity (Greenwire, May 30).

A spokesman for MEND said Saturday it would suspend its attacks on oil installations for one month, "which we hope the government will take advantage of to ruminate on positive and realistic measures towards a just peace in the delta" (Edward Harris, AP/Houston Chronicle, June 2).

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