Ijaw tribesmen burned several villages in southern Nigeria and threatened to blow up oil wells unless the government stopped backing their rivals. They said the army had sided with the Itshekiri tribe in a dispute over electoral-district boundaries and had attacked several Ijaw communities, forcing thousands to flee. In retaliation, Ijaw leader Dan Ekpebide said, the Ijaw seized wells belonging to Royal/Dutch Shell, Chevron Texaco, and TotalFinaElf. If the government continues the attacks, “we’ll have no alternative but to blow up all these facilities under our control,” Ekpebide told the U.N. news service IRIN.
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