REUTERS, JUNE 21, 2016
ABUJA—Nigeria has agreed a one-month cease-fire with militants including the Niger Delta Avengers in the oil-producing southern region, a petroleum ministry official said on Tuesday.
Militant groups including the Avengers, who have claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on oil and gas facilities in recent weeks, could not immediately be reached for comment.
They say they want a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth to go to the impoverished Delta region. Crude sales make up about 70 percent of national income and the vast majority of that oil comes from the southern swampland.
The latest attacks have pushed production to a 30-year low.
Last week the Avengers said they would negotiate with the government if independent foreign mediators were involved.
"It was very difficult getting the Niger Delta Avengers to the negotiating table but we eventually did through a proxy channel and achieved the truce," said the official, who asked not to be identified.
A second government official, who also wished to remain anonymous, said a "a truce was agreed" with militants.