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Nigerian Militant Groups Pulls Out Of  Peace Talks

Nigeria is asking the United States to help it improve security in the Niger Delta. Vice President Goodluck Jonathan says US expertise is needed to restore order following increased attacks on oil facilities by militants. The appeal comes on the heels of another attack at a Shell Petroleum Development Company facility at Oloma in which four soldiers and three civilians were killed.

Mojaheed Dokubo Asari is the leader of the main militant group the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force. He told VOA English to Africa reporter Chinedu Offor the security situation in the region will shortly take a turn for the worse. “The security situation is very, very precarious. Life is not safe. The soldiers are there harassing innocent people. I just left a police check-point a few minutes ago.”

Asari denies allegations that his group was behind the escalating attacks on oil installations and foreign workers. “The members of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force and the Joint Revolutionary Council are not involved. Initially we were not in support of the actions carried out by certain groups, but today it is affecting all of us and there is nothing we can do but to give support to those who are fighting, because if you are not fighting, you will also be hunted down.

Asari says because of the government actions, his group will no longer take part in the proposed peace summit for the region. "The issue is even if we are not involved and our people are attacked, we have no other option than to defend ourselves. The security situation is very tense in the Delta: there are several roadblocks; there are lot of searches going on and some of them are very humiliating."