Monday, July 21, 2008

A New War for Oil

Gordon Brown will offer British help to the Nigerian government – to fight rebels in the oil-producing Niger delta.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said the focus will be on providing training for the Nigerian military. He said: "Oil supply from Nigeria has been undermined by insecurity in the Niger delta...and to achieve levels of production that Nigeria is capable of"

Major unrest in the impoverished Niger Delta region has cut the country's capacity to pump oil by one-quarter in recent months, helping to drive oil prices to the record high of $145 per barrel.
A series of attacks on installations and the kidnapping of oil workers by the main militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), has cut Nigerian oil production by one-quarter. The group is demanding a greater share of oil revenues be given to local people as the Niger Delta is among the poorest regions in Africa, despite the immense oil wealth it produces. Britain is one of the largest investors in Nigeria. About 4,000 Britons live in the west African country, many working for large companies, including the oil and gas companies Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group

A spokesman for Mend, Jomo Gbomo, told The Independent that the UK offer was tantamount to a return to colonial policies of divide and rule:
"They ought to know better than any other country [not] to involve themselves in any other area aside from development. They [the British] are getting frustrated and we will continue frustrating the oil-dependent markets until justice is offered."

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