Foreigners kidnapped in Nigeria

Three British and one Colombian employee of Shell subsidiary abducted by gunmen.

    President Yar'Adua's absence from Nigeria has cast doubts on the ceasefire with Mend [EPA]

    The incident was the first major kidnapping in southern Nigeria for months, following a lull in the wake of a government amnesty which saw thousands of rebels lay down their arms.

    No group has as yet claimed responsibility for the abduction of the four men.

    Ceasefire review

    Armed groups claiming to seek a fairer share of oil revenue for local communities have since 2006 staged attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta, playing havoc with crude output and international oil prices.

    The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), the main rebel group in the restive region, declared an open-ended ceasefire in October to give dialogue with authorities a chance.

    But at the weekend, Mend said it was "reviewing its indefinite ceasefire announced on Sunday, October 9, 2009 and will announce its position on or before January 30, 2010".

    The absence of Umaru Yar'Adua, the Nigerian president, for nearly two months for medical reasons has not helped efforts to end the violence in the Niger Delta with fighters reportedly unhappy at the slow progress of the process to re-train them and integrate them back into their communities.

    Hundreds of foreign and local oil workers have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta since 2006. Many have been released unharmed, others after ransom payments.

    Last year Shell said 152 of its workers, including 19 contractors, were kidnapped between 2006 and 2008.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.