Brains Over Bombs

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Conflict in the Niger Delta

The other day CNN ran a two part story on the on-going conflict in the Niger Delta. The Nigerian government and oil companies have been exploiting the people of the Delta for years, stealing the oil and not giving any of the profits to the locals that live in poverty. At this point you can guess what was going to happen. A rebel group called MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) formed to fight the oil companies, disrupting the oil production.

CNN reports: "Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer. In 2005, it was the world's sixth largest exporter of oil, but the conflict there has cut distribution by an estimated 500,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy."

MEND also started kidnapping foreign oil workers. They are believed to have 30 hostages now, one of them an American. CNN's international correspondent Jeff Koinange traveled to the Niger Delta to uncover this story, being shot at while trying to do so. It is definitely worth a read to see what is going on. Jeff Koinange's video should also be up on CNN's website.

Link to Jeff Koinange's report.

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