Nigeria Oil Region Negotiators Threaten to Quit Peace Talks

An abandoned oil drum used for illegal refining activity sits on the ground in Bodo, Nigeria, on Jan. 13, 2016.

Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

Negotiators representing militants in Nigeria’s oil region in talks with the government said they’ll pull out of the process if some demands aren’t met by November, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of not doing enough for peace.

The efforts of the group, known as the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, “to help Nigeria climb out of recession through stable oil and gas production have not been met with tangible reciprocal action by the federal government,” Edwin Clark, its leader, said in a statement emailed on Tuesday.

A list of 16 demands, including the withdrawal troops from the region and the clean up of oil spills, presented for implementation “without delay” at the group’s meeting with Buhari last year was ignored, according to the statement. The negotiators “may consider pulling out of the ongoing peace process” by Nov. 1 if these demands aren’t met, said Clark.

Nigeria is suffering its worst economic downturn in a quarter century after oil prices fell in 2015 and output was hampered by a resurgence of militant attacks on pipelines in the Niger delta. The armed groups, including the Niger Delta Avengers that claimed most of the attacks, nominated the community leaders last year to represent them in talks with the government and agreed to a cease-fire.

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