Worries Follow SA Trial

Now, with Okah facing terrorism charges in South Africa, a similar danger again lurks in the Niger Delta’s winding creeks, which remain as twisted as the labyrinth of loyalties running between militants and politicians in a region the size of South Carolina. A government amnesty deal brought many fighters out of the shadows, though many remain without jobs despite pledges of retraining.The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the dominant militant group in the region, has promised more attacks through e-mailed communiques with foreign journalists. Whether the group long associated with Okah can bring the same co-ordinated destruction remains in question.
“The easiest way of conceptualising (the group) is like it’s a big banner with ‘MEND’ written on it, but a number of different groups can operate under it at different times for different reasons,” said Peter Sharwood-Smith, Nigeria country manager for security firm Drum Cussac.For now, who carries the banner appears to be in question after the group claimed responsibility for a dual car bombings that killed at least 12 people during Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations in Abuja on October 1. One bomb detonated, with another exploding about five minutes later, targeting police, firefighters and curious onlookers gathered there.
– sapa