LAGOS, Nigeria, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group tied to production problems in OPEC-member Nigeria, said it was open to some form of collective negotiations.
The group emerged earlier this year and has since become one of the more active militant groups waging war on energy interests in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. The NDA accuses the government of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari of favoring oil and gas interests over the interests of the people in the Niger Delta and its campaign has been blamed for pushing total Nigerian crude oil production to a 30-year low this year.
In a statement during the weekend, spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said the narrative so far has been biased, though it was ready to support "any collective negotiation team" led by elders from the Niger Delta, the multinational oil companies present in the region, the government in Abuja and international mediators.
Mediation should "be focused on achieving the short-, medium- and long-term frameworks and objectives to de-escalating conflicts in the Niger Delta," he said.
Among the benchmarks for a resolution offered was The Kaima Declaration, a document from the late 1990s calling for respect for indigenous interests and protection for the Niger Delta region from damage associated with years of oil and gas exploitation.
Amnesty International describes the Niger Delta as one of the most polluted places in the world. The advocacy group singled out Royal Dutch Shell in particular, blaming the company for at least 130 different oil spills in the region last year.
The Nigerian government at one point this year suggested a truce was brokered with militant groups, but the Niger Delta Avengers at the time said there was no negotiating structure in place.