Home / International / World Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Six Foreign Oil Hostages Released in Nigeria
Adjust font size:

Six foreign hostages, including ailing US oil hostage Macon Hawkins, who turned 69 on Wednesday, has been released after being held captive by militants for 11 days in Nigeria's oil-rich south.

"Six hostages have arrived at the government house in Warri. We saw them," a local reporter told Xinhua from the oil city by phone. The remaining three are two Americans and one Briton.

"That's correct, the Thai, Egyptians and Filipino have been released," confirmed Jomo Gbomo, a self-described spokesman for the militants, via email to Xinhua.

The first to be released was US oil hostage Macon Hawkins, who turned 69 on Wednesday.

"He was released on account of his age and poor health with a stern warning not to return to the Niger Delta unless as a visitor. If he heeds this warning is entirely up to him." said Jomo Gbomo, in an email statement to Xinhua.

Hawkins, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, had reportedly said he wanted "freedom" as his birthday gift when the militants displayed him before reporters on the Escravos River in southern Nigeria last week.

Gbomo said the American was released to a group of foreign journalists found to be touring the Niger Delta, where the majority of Nigeria's daily output of 2.5 million barrels of oil is produced.

"No ransom for him or any other hostage has been demanded or received," he said.

Hawkins was abducted along with eight hostages, including two Americans, two Egyptians, two Thais, one Briton and one Filipino, were seized on February 18 by the militants belonging to the self-styled Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

"The remaining three westerners will be held indefinitely. We are not in talks with the Nigerian government and will continue with our campaign, striking at the most valuable of targets in the oil industry," their abductors said in an email to Xinhua.

The militants reiterated their warnings that they will launch fresh attacks on oil facilities in another area of the Niger Delta with an aim to ensuring the "total discontinuation" of export of onshore oil.

"The delay in the commencement of this strike is to ensure its effectiveness by concentrating our resources towards one huge crippling blow to the Nigerian oil industry," the spokesman for the abductors warned.

The militants insisted that they will compromise on its demands for the release two ethnic Ijaw leaders, payment of compensation to Ijaw communities affected by Shell spillages and the control of the resources of the Niger Delta by its indigenes. They also demanded the intervention of a neutral arbiter in the resolution of this conflict.

Recent attacks by the militants on oil facilities in the west African country, the largest oil producer in Africa, has cut production by 455,000 barrels per day (bpd) of production, or 19 percent the country's total output, and help push up world oil prices.

(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Six Oil Workers Kidnapped in Southern Nigeria
- Oil Prices Rise as Royal Dutch Shell Halts Nigeria Supplies
- Shell Workers Abducted, Pipeline Demolished in Nigeria
- Nigerian Kidnappers Voice Political Demands: Bulgarian FM
- Nigerian Gunmen Attack Oil Firm Offices
- Nigeria's Oil Industry Not in Crisis: Obasanjo
- Nigeria Sets up Committee to Seek Release of Oil Hostages
Most Viewed >>
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies