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The Nigerian military reported today that they have captured the suspected leader of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a rebel group that has targeted oil and gas infrastructure as part of their armed push against the African country’s government.
As reported on the website of E&P magazine, alleged NDA commander Isaac Romeo was caught along with two other men in a military operation led by soldiers with support from the air force and security officers. The three suspected rebels were detained over the weekend in Calabar, the capital of Cross River state in the oil-rich Delta region.
The military on Monday subsequently apprehended a fourth militant who they believe took part in an 11 August attack on a pipeline operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. (NPDC) and Nigerian energy firm Shoreline. A separate rebel faction – the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM)– took responsibility for the incident that occurred after the NDA declared a unilateral ceasefire.
Prior to halting hostilities, the NDA’s violence against energy facilities was blamed for helping push down Nigerian oil output by around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to some 1.56 million bpd. Furthermore, energy firms like Seven Energy claimed to have lost millions of dollars in revenue as a result of militant activity.
While the NDA ceasefire has lasted nearly a month, the Nigerian military has not let up on its offensive against the rebels. The NDA has also faced pressure from other militant organizations such as the NDGJM and the Aggrieved Youth Movement. The latter group, for example, recently urged the NDA to withdraw from Rivers state and permanently lay down their weapons.
By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com
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Erwin Cifuentes is a Contributing Editor for Southern Pulse Info where he focuses on politics, economics and security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.…