Nigerian army to train in Niger Delta

1457

The Nigerian army will carry out training exercises in the restive southern Niger Delta, where attacks on oil installations last year cut crude production by around a third.

A ceasefire by militants halted attacks in the oil production heartland this year. President Muhammadu Buhari said government was still talking to communities in the region in a bid to secure a lasting peace.

Exercises in tasks such as logistics, reconnaissance and medical care will be carried out within the states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States from October 7 to 28, military spokesman Aminu Iliyasu said.
“The command also wishes to allay fears of the general public as they will witness increased movements of troops and equipment during the period,” he said.

A military deployment in the Delta last year saw communities accuse troops of intimidating locals in raids aimed at capturing militants who said they wanted a greater share of energy wealth to go to the region. Crude sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.



A military operation last month in the nearby south-east region to reduce violent crime and “secessionist agitations” led to claims that the home of a separatist leader was besieged, which the army denies.