Nigerian gov’t deploys troops to Niger Delta

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Flag of Nigeria

Nigeria’s federal government has deployed an anti-terrorism squad to the restive, oil-producing Niger Delta region to tackle hostage-takers, pipeline vandals, oil bunkerers and other criminals in the region, the local press reported Monday. The first deployment of the squad, made of policemen specially trained to counter terrorism and other criminal activities, arrived in the oil city of Warri at the weekend. It is not yet known if the policemen will replace or work side by side with the thousands of troops already deployed to the region to help keep the peace. Niger Delta leaders as well as militant groups have been calling for the withdrawal of the troops as part of efforts to de-militarize the zone. Attacks on oil facilities and kidnapping of oil and other workers by militant and criminal groups have helped slashed Nigeria’s oil production by 20 per cent.

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