Nigeria: Down in the Delta


June 2, 2006: The oil war in the Niger River Delta remains a stalemate. The military has been raiding known gang locations, but the gangs have plenty of boats, money, people and guns, and move around a lot. The military has plans to try and make it more difficult for the gangs to plunder the oil pipelines, but has not made much progress yet. The gangs continue to talk of forming a united front against the government, but ego, tribal politics and mistrust have prevented it so far.

June 1, 2006: On Okochiri Island, in the Niger delta, a soldier was killed by rebels still operating on the island.

May 31, 2006: President Olusegun Obasanjo has removed the head of the armed forces and replaced him with the head of the army. The air force chief was also removed. Obasanjo has accepted that he won't be able to get the constitution changed so that he can run for a third term.

May 29, 2006: A military task force invaded Okochiri Island, in the Niger delta, made over a dozen arrests, killed five rebels and seized weapons.

May 28, 2006: A large fire, caused by oil thieves, also damaged nearby power lines, which have resulted in the loss of about half the electrical power for six states in the south. It will take weeks to make repairs and restore power levels.


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