The block is a little less hot in the Niger delta region after Government Tompolo of the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities accepted a disarmament treaty and pledged his support for president Umaru Yar’Adua in return for an unconditional pardon. From Al Jazeera:
Tompolo was one of the leaders of the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC), which was responsible for shutting down a large amount of oil output from the western delta in 2003.
“We came because we want peace,” Chief Andrew Anegba, a traditional Ijaw ethnic community leader, said as he waited for Tompolo at Warri airport.
“The last militant groups are giving up arms, and that means peace is coming back.”
Mend, which dismissed the amnesty as a charade, said it has replaced its military command…The rebels, who say they are fighting for a fairer distribution of the region’s wealth, launched repeated attacks on oil infrastructure and government forces across the delta causing a slump in production.
Despite Nigeria’s oil riches, the vast majority of its 140 million people live on $2 a day or less, and some of the most acute poverty is in the villages of the delta.