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Residents fear military operation in Niger Delta could escalate anger

Residents fear military operation in Niger Delta could escalate anger

Nigeria

Residents of an administrative centre in Niger Delta are decrying the ongoing military operation in Niger Delta state to flush out militants who are intent on crippling Nigeria’s oil sector.

They claim that some troops are using brutal tactics including rape, which could stoke anger in an already volatile region.

“Because they are the army… they covered the door so I couldn’t go. Four people pointed guns at my head and said ‘get back’ and two just did what they wanted to do with me as the other two pointed guns at my head,” said Ebimore Oboive, a female resident in Oporoza.

A claim supported by community elders: “They do the way they like in our community. They pack a lot of our properties. Like my house they broke into my house, packed a lot of my properties from the house,” said Nelson Okagbami, a community leader.

Residents say activity in Oporoza centre is at a standstill but the Nigerian army denies allegations of abuse.

The Delta state government, under whose jurisdiction the community falls, has urged the military to launch an investigation.

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Avengers claimed responsibility of a major attack on a crude pipeline in the Delta region run by Italy’s ENI.

Reuters