n African Security Review - Niger Delta militancy and the challenge of criminalising terrorism in Nigeria : feature

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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The Niger Delta region covers an area of about 75 000 km2 in landmass and is located in the southernmost region of Nigeria. It is Africa's and the world's third largest mangrove grove, one of the world's biggest freshwater swamps and Nigeria's most bio-diverse area. The Niger Delta is home to over 30 million people who live in about 13 400 aboriginal communities, mainly farmers and coastal fishermen, and belong to over 40 ethnic groups. The region has an estimated 40 billion barrels in oil reserves in addition to its enormous wealth in forest and water resources. The Niger Delta region is of critical geostrategic importance in the global energy equation and for national economic survival. In 2002 Nigeria was the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to the United States, with exports averaging nearly 600 000 barrels per day. This figure trebled by 2006 before the upsurge of militancy in the region.

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