So finally it comes to this… The Niger Delta is at “war”. Yesterday, the region’s most prominent militant group, MEND declared an “oil war”, warning all oil workers to evacuate the delta immediately.

This morning, true to their word, MEND (the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) attacked a Shell flow station in what has become the third day of fighting with security forces. The group had already attacked a Chevron instillation at the weekend too.

Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the military in Rivers state, told Reuters this morning. “Militants in about 10 speedboats attacked a Shell location at Alakiri. The attack lasted over an hour. Dynamite and bombs were massively detonated by the miscreants.”

MEND’s move seems to be a response to a major army offensive against the rebels. “We have declared an oil war in response to the unprovoked aerial and marine attacks on our positions by the armed forces of Nigeria,” said Jomo Gbomo, Mend’s spokesman.

“We are asking that oil companies evacuate their staff from their field facilities because the brief is not to capture hostages but to bring these structures to the ground.”

Sure it is time that someone, somehow tries to break this cycle of violence. A first start would be listening to the grievances of the people of the Niger Delta…


  • This is a tragedy. Let’s hope the reports are exaggerated. People in the Niger Delta want peace. They do not support MEND’s “oil war” and they resent the militarisation of the oil industry.

    Watch the “Poison Fire” documentary at

  • Could someone please direct me to some serious discussion of MEND? By serious, I mean something more than a wikipedia entry or U.S. journalistic account… What do they stand for? Do they tend to live by their rhetoric? How deep is their community support in the Delta… Thanks!

    – August

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