Terrorism & Insurgency

Stalled progress on Niger Delta negotiations raises risk of renewed attacks on Nigerian oil and gas infrastructure

12 September 2017
A soldier from the Joint Task Force patrols in the oil-producing Niger Delta in April 2017. Source: Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images: 670304106

Key Points

  • The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers-led coalition will want to see some sign of government commitment to discussing key demands with its new team of mandated negotiators.
  • An unwillingness by the federal government to engage is likely to prompt renewed militancy before the end of the year, as Delta stakeholders' frustrations are acute after failure to build on early concessions and promises.
  • Critical oil and gas infrastructure in Delta state, much of it recently repaired, is most at risk in the event of renewed attacks.


An uneasy de-facto ceasefire in the oil-producing Niger Delta is under threat from a new coalition of militant groups demanding progress on substantive concessions for the region from the Nigerian government after months of stalemate.

A coalition of Niger Delta militant groups led by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) threatened on 10 September to resume attacks on oil and gas facilities. It has given the federal government a two-week ultimatum to open talks with its accredited representatives, the Pan Niger Delta People's Congress (PNDPC), or it will end a de-facto ceasefire that has operated in the oil-producing region since the start of 2017. The coalition said the new negotiators would replace the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Chief Edwin Clark, which had lost its confidence because of a lack of progress on the 16-point list of demands originally presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the start of official negotiations between Delta representatives and the federal government on 1 November 2016.

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