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MEND says it will attack major oil pipelines

Reuters

FACTBOX-Facts on Nigerian militant group MEND

Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:51am EDT

July 23 (Reuters) – The main militant group in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta said on Wednesday it would attack major oil pipelines in the next 30 days to prove it had not received payment from the government to end its campaign.

Nigerian militant group the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) came to notice nearly three years ago.

Here are some details on the group:

* WHO ARE THEY?

— MEND, which says it is fighting for the people of the delta to gain greater control of oil resources, is a nebulous organisation that emerged in late 2005.

— Thousands of troops have been stationed in the vast delta since 2003 when ethnic Ijaw militancy before national elections forced companies to shut 40 percent of Nigeria’s oil output.

— In early 2006 the group said in an email to Reuters: “We have decided not to limit our attacks to Shell as our ultimate aim is to prevent Nigeria from exporting oil.”

— MEND and other Niger Delta groups have demanded local control of the delta’s oil resources and compensation for oil pollution of delta villages.

— The movement’s attacks have cut Nigeria’s oil output by around a fifth since early 2006.

* EARLY OPERATIONS

— Its first major attack came in December 2005. The group attacked a major pipeline operated by Royal Dutch Shell, killing eight people and cutting oil output by 180,000 barrels per day (bpd).

— In January 2006 militants kidnapped four oil workers at gunpoint from Shell’s offshore E.A. oilfield. Shell shut its 115,000 bpd E.A. platform.

— A major crude oil pipeline was also blown up, cutting supplies to the Forcados export terminal by 100,000 bpd.

* In another major attack the next month militants stormed an offshore barge operated by U.S. oil services company Willbros and abducted nine workers.

* MOST RECENT ATTACK:

— MEND’s latest strike in June 2008, in which gunmen in speedboats attacked Shell’s main offshore Bonga field, forced the firm to shut down the $3.6 billion facility for several days. There was also an attack on Rotyal Dutch Shell’s Awoba flow station in the southern Rivers state in May.
 

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