Nigerian Oil Region Militant Amnesty Begins

5 August 2009 (Last Updated August 5th, 2009 18:30)

An amnesty for militants in Nigeria's Niger Delta is underway in a bid to permanently halt frequent attacks on oil installations in the region. The Nigerian Government is offering militants the chance to lay down their guns in exchange for retraining and a presidential pardon, accordin

An amnesty for militants in Nigeria's Niger Delta is underway in a bid to permanently halt frequent attacks on oil installations in the region.

The Nigerian Government is offering militants the chance to lay down their guns in exchange for retraining and a presidential pardon, according to the BBC.

However, it is unclear whether any of the militant groups will take up the offer.

In recent months the violent struggle in the Niger Delta has worsened as militants fight for what they consider to be a fairer share of Nigeria's oil wealth for the local people.

The groups have blown up oil pipelines and attacked oil companies operating in the delta.

Recent victims of the violence include oil majors Shell and Chevron, which have been targeted by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend).

Mend recently announced a temporary ceasefire.