Nigeria: not for sale, MEND pronounce stance

August 5, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Posted in Africa | Leave a comment
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Nigeria’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), has pronounced its stand of the money for disarmament, saying its struggle was not for sale.

MEND said in a statement late yesterday that its taking of the deal would not be in exchange for money

“When we choose to disarm, it will be done freely, knowing that the reason for our uprising which is the emancipation of the Niger Delta from neglect and injustice has been achieved,” said the group in a statement.

The Nigerian government has made offers to the militants in the Delta offering cash deals as part of the settlement and general amnesty to push for peace in the region. The amnesty deal is offered from 6 August until 4 October.

The Nigerian President, Umaru Yar’Adua, had also in late June offered unconditional amnesty for all militants who lay down their arms, but militants had stepped up their attacks after what they called unprovoked assaults by the government forces.

MEND has declared several ceasefires, with the latest being the last month a 60-day ceasefire in response to the amnesty offer. The group claims to be fighting for a larger share of the oil revenues for the Niger Delta communities and has distanced itself from other groups that have been said to be criminally motivated and involved in kidnappings for ransoms and other monetary deals.

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