Author Topic: Nigeria begins Talks With Niger Delta Representatives  (Read 226 times)

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Offline mastercode

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Nigeria begins Talks With Niger Delta Representatives
« on: November 02, 2016, 12:43:37 AM »

At their height earlier this year, attacks by militants in Nigeria's Niger Delta region cut the country's oil production nearly in half. Now, the Nigerian government has opened talks aimed at restoring peace in the oil-producing region.

Community leaders from the Niger Delta took part in a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the state house in Abuja Tuesday.

The government hopes the talks will help pave the way to peace in the Niger Delta and allow full oil production to resume, a development that would give a big boost to Nigeria's ailing economy.

For decades, youth in the Delta have protested against the government, prompted mainly by widespread poverty and accusations that oil companies have polluted the land.

A new group called the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on oil pipelines and other infrastructure in the region in the past year.

But the Niger Delta Avengers did not send its spokesperson to today’s meeting. The group remains anonymous.

Early stages

One meeting participant, Udengs Eradiri, who spoke to VOA before before the talks began, said the process is only in its early stages.

"You can see there are issues from the representation. There have been complaints here and there. Today is an inaugural meeting. We have informed everybody that look, let us allow for this process to begin," said Eradiri, who is president of the Ijaw Youth Council, a highly influential community group formed nearly two decades ago to voice the concerns of the Niger Delta people.



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