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Oil rebels agree to ceasefire if Carter mediates

Latest update : 2008-05-06

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in a statement that former US President Jimmy Carter had agreed to mediate between the government and the rebels, and announced a temporary ceasefire during the possible negotiations.

LAGOS - Niger Delta rebels said on Tuesday that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter had agreed to act as a mediator if invited by Nigeria's government, and the group promised to declare a ceasefire if talks went ahead.


The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in a statement that Carter, who visited Nigeria just over a month ago, had accepted to mediate in the conflict "on the condition that the Nigerian government and any other relevant stake holder invites him."


"We are ready to call off all hostilities and hold a temporary ceasefire in honor of President Carter should the Nigerian government accept President Carter's initiative," MEND said in an emailed statement.


"However, if as expected, the government fails to seize on this new opportunity for peace, our actions will continue to speak volumes beyond the Nigerian shores."


On Tuesday, oil hit a new record high of $122 a barrel, lifted by fears of new militant attacks in Nigeria, supply concerns in Iran and a forecast from Goldman Sachs stating prices could hit $200 a barrel because of lagging supply growth.


It was not immediately possibly to confirm the offer with the Carter Centre.

Date created : 2008-05-06