Niger Delta Avengers announce cessation of hostilities

The Niger Delta Avengers said on Monday that it had ceased hostilities and was ready for negotiations with the government.

The group which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta in the last few months issued a statement just over a week after the militant group said it was ready for a ceasefire and talks with the government.

The Niger Delta region – which produces most of the oil that makes up 70 percent of government revenue – has been hit by pipeline attacks since January cutting output by 700,000 barrels a day to 1.56 million bpd.

The group has previously rejected the government’s offers of negotiations.

“We have listened carefully and halted hostilities in the Niger Delta,” said the Avengers in the statement, presented as an “open letter” to President Muhammadu Buhari on the group’s website.

“We expect a genuine and positive attitude to restructuring and self-determination for every component unit of Nigeria,” the group said. It added that “no amount of troop surge and simulation exercises will make you win the oil war”.

Nigeria’s military on Saturday said that it had launched a new offensive against militants in the Delta, killing five and arresting 23, to crack down on criminal activities.