The Nigerian army has arrested several suspected members of a militant group called the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), thought to be behind recent attacks on oil pipelines in the restive Delta region, BBC reported. The assaults on oil infrastructures have helped cut Nigeria’s output to 1.65mbp/d from 2.2mbp/d at the start of the year.
The Avengers, who say they are fighting for a greater share of oil profits, an end to pollution and independence for the swampy southern region, last week warned oil firms to leave before the end of the month, Reuters wrote.
Crude sales from the Delta account for 70% of national income in Africa’s biggest economy but residents, some of whom sympathize with the militants, have long complained of poverty. President Muhammadu Buhari has extended an amnesty deal signed with militants in 2009 that stepped up funding for the region; but he has cut funding for the deal and canceled contracts to former militants to protect the pipelines they used to attack.