Nigerian militants call for truce

ABUJA: Nigeria’s main militant group called an indefinite cease-fire

today to encourage dialogue with the government, the group’s spokesman said.

Jomo Gbomo, spokesman for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said the group’s shift in position comes after the government “expressed its readiness to engage in serious and meaningful dialogue with every group or individual towards achieving a lasting peace in the Niger Delta.” President Umaru Yar’Adua met with longtime MEND leader Henry Okah on

October 19.

Gbomo said that after the meeting, Okah had “indicated the willingness of the government to negotiate” with MEND. The group has formed a team to negotiate, Gbomo said. The attacks from MEND and unrest in the Niger Delta region had cut Nigeria’s oil production by about a million barrels a day, allowing Angola to overtake it as Africa’s top oil producer.

The new cease-fire comes into effect from today.