Nigerian militants warn China over oil

By Daily Maverick Legacy 30 September 2009

A Nigerian militant group has warned China over its oil interests in the restive Niger Delta, saying it should not invest until peace was achieved in the region. The Delta has seen frequent killings and the kidnapping of foreign oil workers over the past three years, but a three-month ceasefire has been called to allow for peace talks between the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the Nigerian government. To feed its ravenous economy China has large stakes in Nigeria’s abundant oil industry. The militants see leverage in threatening such an important economic partner. MEND told Reuters China would regret negotiating with the wrong people, if the Nigerian government failed to address Delta concerns. Those include desperate poverty, exacerbated by little return on oil revenues and punctuated by horrific reports of mass deaths in infernos as people scrabble to filch petroleum products from high-volume pipelines.

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