Nigeria: Niger Delta Avengers announces ceasefire, says it supports holding talks with Abuja 0

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), known for its attacks on Nigeria’s oil installations, has announced a ceasefire, saying it will support the notion of holding talks with the government in Abuja. The group said in a message on its website late Saturday that it would support efforts to negotiate with “the federal government of Nigeria, representatives from the home countries of all multinational oil corporations and neutral international mediators.” It said NDA would “observe a cessation of hostilities” and will honor its pledge “unless the ruling political APC (All Progressives Congress party) continues … to arrest, intimidate, invade and harass innocent citizens and invade especially Ijaw communities.”

The Ijaw ethnic people are the dominant militant group in the southern Niger Delta region. They have vowed to resume fighting if the current window for talks expires and the government fails to address their demands. “We promise to fight more for the Niger Delta, if this opportunity fails,” the NDA said in its message. Attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipeline and facilities have left a devastating impact on the African country’s economy. Reports say Abuja has lost a third of its oil income as a result of the militancy affecting its oil facilities.

The government blamed two such attacks on Friday on the DNA while a second group, identifying itself as the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), carried out another attack on the state-owned pipeline on the same day. The DNA has yet to comment on reports that it has been holding talks with government representatives in Abuja over the past weeks. The group has also refused to publicly support efforts by community figures from the Niger Delta region to resolve the conflict.