ECOWAS lauds Nigerian rebel amnesty
The West African regional economic bloc ECOWAS has lauded Nigeria for granting amnesty to thousands of Niger Delta rebels who have given up their arms. The body called on Nigeria’s government to socially and economically develop the oil-rich region. With the surrender of three senior militants from rebel group Mend this weekend, nearly all known militant leaders in the nation’s troubled oil-producing region have taken a presidential amnesty, which ended on 6 October. Attacks on oil facilities in the Delta in the past three years have reduced Nigeria's oil output by a third, but problems of dire poverty, oil wealth redistribution and petroleum pollution have fuelled the conflict.