The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has announced the end of its unilateral ceasefire and the ‘resumption of hostilities’ in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region.
In a statement e-mailed to the media Thursday, MEND said the ceasefire, which took effect 24 June 2008, would end at midnight on Saturday, 12 July 2008.
It said the decision to call off the ceasefire was due to the statement credited to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown ”offering to provide military support to the illegal government of (President) Umaru Yar’Adua in further oppressing the impoverished people of the Niger Delta”.
”Mr Yar’Adua, in a fraudulent appeal to the G8 leaders in Japan, misled the international community into believing that the unrest and agitation in the region is due to oil theft which encourages ‘blood oil’.
”The international community and independent researchers are very well aware that the unrest in the region is as a result of over five decades of oil exploration that has developed other parts of Nigeria to the detriment of the environment and people of the Niger Delta.
”The United Kingdom is part of this problem with the politics it played pre-independence that gave leverage to some sections of the country which has helped in marginalising and exploiting the region today,” MEND said.
It warned: ”Should Gordon Brown make good his threat to support this criminality for the sake of oil, UK citizens and interests in Nigeria will suffer the consequences.”
MEND announced the ceasefire after a string of daring attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, including that against the country’s largest offshore oil production facility, the over 200,0000bpd Shell-operated Bonga oil field. Panapress .