[news] Rebels declare start date for Nigerian uprising
"We will target government infrastructure and oil company
personnel," Mr. Dokubo-Asari told the Associated Press. "Oil facilities
will not be targeted since it will endanger the environment."
Rebels declare start date for Nigerian uprising
Lagos, Nigeria -- Insurgents in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta will
begin an armed struggle to wrest control of the region's oil riches from
the federal government starting Oct. 1, a rebel spokesman said Tuesday.
Moujahid Dokubo-Asari, leader of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer
Force, also said all oil company employees would be legitimate targets
and advised foreign embassies to pull their nationals out of the oil region.
"We will target government infrastructure and oil company personnel,"
Mr. Dokubo-Asari told the Associated Press. "Oil facilities will not be
targeted since it will endanger the environment."
Mr. Dokubo-Asari said "a full-scale armed struggle" will begin on Oct.
1, the 44th anniversary of Nigeria's independence from Britain.
Oil multinationals operating in Nigeria, especially local subsidiaries
Royal Dutch/Shell and Italy's Agip, have provided government troops,
helicopters and topographical maps that aided the bombardment of rebel
camps hidden among creeks and mangrove swamps of the delta, the rebel
A Shell spokesman in Lagos would not comment on the allegations, saying
an official response will be issued later.
Shell, which accounts for roughly half of Nigeria's daily exports of 2.5
million barrels, said its production and exports have so far not been
affected by violence in the region.
Nigeria's military launched its latest offensive against Mr.
Dokubo-Asari's fighters early this month in response to deadly raids by
his militia into Nigeria's main oil industry centre, Port Harcourt, in
President Olusegun Obasanjo's government accuses the rebels and other
armed groups in the region of gangsterism, including illegally tapping
and selling crude oil from pipelines to buy arms and fund their criminal
Mr. Dokubo-Asari says his group is fighting for self-determination for
more than eight million Ijaws, the dominant tribe in the southern delta
region, which accounts for nearly all of Nigeria's daily oil exports.
The insurgents will lay down their arms only if the government convened
a "sovereign national conference" to discuss self-determination and
greater control of oil wealth by the inhabitants of the oil region, he said.
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