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ISN SECURITY WATCH: Shell assesses pipeline attack in Nigeria

ISN SECURITY WATCH (Tuesday, 7 March: 12.08 CET) – Royal Dutch Shell oil company said it was still assessing the damage after militants in the Niger Delta attacked an oil pipeline, news agencies reported.

The attack, which took place on Saturday, did not affect output, as a series of recent attacks had already shut down production on the Shell oil installations.
In recent weeks, Shell has shut down all production in the western Niger River delta and withdrawn hundreds of personal.
Militants are fighting for more control over the region’s oil revenues.
Last weekend, Nigerian militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), vowed to cut Nigeria’s oil production by another one million barrels a day this month through stepped up attacks.
In an email to the local media, MEND said: “We are going to inflict one huge, crippling blow on the Nigerian oil industry and a most embarrassing attack on the Nigerian government.”
MEND is also demanding the release of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a former governor of Bayelsa state, who was impeached and arrested on money-laundering charges, and another militant leader jailed on treason charges.
The militants also are demanding that Shell pay compensation to the ethnic Ijaw community of the Niger Delta for alleged environmental damage and destruction of their fishing communities, which is their main source of livelihood.
On 26 February, court in Nigeria has ordered Shell to pay US$1.5 billion in compensation to the Ijaw – a ruling Shell has said it would appeal, saying there was no evidence to support the claims.
On 2 March, MEND released six of nine hostages held for two weeks. The group released one elderly US citizen with health problems, two Egyptians, two Thai nationals, and one Filipino. They continue to hold three captives – two Britons and an American.
According to ISN Security Watch’s Dulue Mbachu, over the past two decades, there has been a build up of anger among local people. The ethnic minorities who inhabit the delta accuse the bigger ethnic groups that dominate government of cornering the oil wealth to their detriment. This resentment has often manifested in angry protests by villagers, sabotage of oil installations, kidnapping of oil workers for ransom, and other forms of disruptive violence by a growing army of heavily armed militants in the region.

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