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Posted Sat Dec 18 2010: from IRIN:
Nigeria: Corruption-fed unrest in Delta keeps communities in turmoil
According to the military's Joint Task Force (JTF), the 1 December attack by its troops on the village of Ayakoromor, 50km south of Warri, was a planned operation, targeting suspected criminals. But the Red Cross says thousands of people fled, many taking refuge in swamps, then heading to nearby villages.... Civil society and human rights activists say as long as the Nigerian authorities do not achieve a long-term solution to unrest and criminality in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, local communities will continue to suffer the fallout. They say a 2009 government amnesty programme, while a potentially positive step, will not resolve the longstanding causes of the Niger Delta conflict. The vast wetlands region sits atop more than 30 billion barrels of top-grade oil and substantial gas deposits, but it is one of the most impoverished regions in Nigeria, according to the UN Development Programme. "Unless the government addresses the political and financial corruption - at both the state and federal level - that has robbed the people of their right to health, education and the development of their region, the anger that drives militancy and criminality will continue," Eric Guttschuss, Human Rights Watch's Nigeria researcher, told IRIN.
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