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Nigerian Military Acknowledges Possible Civilian Casualties in Niger Delta Campaign

A spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told VOA the president is committed to the amnesty program for militants in the Niger Delta. This comes as the Nigerian military acknowledged Sunday that civilians may have been killed during the recent military operation against militants in the oil-rich southern region. Ima Niboro, spokesman...

WFP Helps Subsistence Farmers to Increase Crop Yields

The World Food Program is teaming up with the World Meteorological Organization and other agencies to help subsistence farmers increase their crop yields. WFP says 2010 has been a year with many climate-related emergencies, which have created havoc with the agricultural production of many developing countries.Some of the most dramatic climate-...

Nigerian Hostage Release Shows Military Shifting Approach

The rescue of 19 hostages in the Niger Delta represents a shifting approach by Nigeria's military who worked more closely with local groups to secure their release.There is nothing new about hostage taking in the Niger Delta where militants regularly kidnap oil workers for ransom. But last week's release of 19 foreign and local hostages does show...

French Government in Contact with al-Qaida in Mali

A French minister said Tuesday the country is in contact with the kidnappers of seven hostages held by al-Qaida's north African wing in Mali. French Defense Minister Alain Juppe was speaking on French RTL radio. He said there is contact with the kidnappers but he said the best way to make negotiations fail would be to make the contact public....

Nigerian Militants Say Fighters Surrendered

Nigeria's main militant group said one of its commanders and 62 of his followers were not captured by the military, but rather turned themselves in for a promised cash reward.The military had said it arrested the militants Friday in southern Nigeria's Rivers State. On Saturday, it paraded the men in front of the media at an air force base in the...

France Rejects Al-Qaida Demands for Hostage Release

France has rejected a demand by al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb that it negotiate with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Ladin for the release of five French hostages, kidnapped in Niger in September.  On September 16, the Algerian Islamist group al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb seized five French nationals, one Madagascan and one Togolese from a large...

Nigerian Army Says Gang Leader, 51 Delta Militants Arrested

The Nigerian army says it has arrested a militant gang leader and 51 of his followers suspected of involvement in a string of oil worker kidnappings in the Niger Delta region.An army spokesman told reporters Saturday that the suspects were rounded up by a special military task force that polices the delta region. He said the gang was behind the...

South African Judge Denies Bail to Nigerian Accused of Terrorism

A court in South Africa has denied bail to a Nigerian businessman who is facing terrorism charges in connection with bombings in Nigeria that killed a dozen people. The South African judge denied bail to Nigerian businessman Henry Okah saying he believed he was the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, known as MEND.MEND...

Nigerian Militant Group Threatens More Kidnappings in Niger Delta

Nigerian militants have threatened to carry out more kidnappings in the country's oil-rich Niger Delta region, despite an ongoing military crackdown.The region's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), said in an email Friday its fighters have been instructed to attack oil facilities and kidnap people.The...