Fresh tension is now brewing in southern Nigeria following a spate of threats by the MEND militant group, amid fears the fighters have returned to the mangrove-choked creeks of the oil-rich Niger Delta.
After a period of relative calm, spiked only by sporadic incidents, the group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the explosion that rocked the Warri oil refinery. It said the attack was part of a new campaign against the federal government’s “unsustainable and fraudulent” amnesty program.
It comes days after the group threatened Shell’s giant offshore Bonga field. “Offshore operations are not a safe haven. MEND has visited Bonga before and we will do it again when the time is right,” it said.