The Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers said on Friday that they had ended their ceasefire in the oil-rich southeasterly region. Attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016 cut Nigeria’s oil production from a peak of 2.2 million barrels per day to near 1 million barrels per day, the lowest level seen in Africa’s top oil producer in at least 30 years.
The OPEC member relies on crude oil sales for two-thirds of government revenue and most of its foreign exchange. Attacks in the Delta helped to push Africa’s largest economy into recession in 2016. It emerged in the second quarter of this year, mostly due to increased oil production.
“Niger Delta Avenger’s ceasefire on Operation Red Economy is officially over,” stated the heading of a post on the group’s website. The militants want a larger share of Nigeria’s oil wealth to go to the impoverished southern swampland region.
“We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel the warmth of the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers,” the group said. The Niger Delta Avengers, who were responsible for most of last year’s attacks, announced an end to hostilities in August 2016. There have been no substantial attacks by any groups in the region since January.