World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigerian oil militants have said Tuesday that they have declared a cease-fire in the delta region and are ready for dialogue with the government.
“We have listened carefully and halted hostilities in the Niger Delta; we expect a genuine and positive attitude to restructuring and self-determination for every component unit of Nigeria,” Mudoch Agbinibo, spokesman for the Niger Delta Avengers militant group, said in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement serves as a reply to a comment on Sunday in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by Buhari who said his government was not aware that the militants had called a cease-fire, and threatened to treat them like Boko Haram militants if they continuedto bomb oil facilities and shun calls for dialogue.
Since February, the activities of the militants, compounded by low price of crude oil, have nearly dealt a severe blow to the economy with oil production cut by more than half of the 2.2 million barrels per day estimated in the 2016 budget.
But the militants had since last week said they would back a dialogue.
Agbinibo cautioned the president against launching military operations in the restive region, saying troops’ incursion will result in mass killing of civilians.
“Nigeria is not a one-man personal property we must have these talks every time if this union must continue to work as one. No amount of troop surge and simulation exercises will make you win the oil war, you can only win battles,” the spokesman said, apparently referring to a military operation codenamed “Operation Crocodile Smiles”, which was launched on Saturday, officially to provide security in the embattled region.
“Your troops are about to carrying out extra-judicial killings in the Niger Delta in violation of Article 4 of the Geneva Convention with ‘operation crocodile smiles’. All sane minds know the meaning of ‘Crocodile tears’; so code-naming your military operation crocodile smiles only betrays your motives and attitude to the whole world about the Niger Delta question.
“The whole world will surely applaud you in The Hague when you leave office!” said the spokesman in the letter.Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ağustos 2016, 17:37