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Nigerian rebel group declares unilateral ceasefire

One of the Niger Delta's main rebel groups declared a unilateral ceasefire starting June 24. The truce offer comes days after BP and Chevron were forced to suspend oil production because of attacks.

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The most high-profile armed group in the Niger Delta on Sunday declared a unilateral ceasefire starting "12 midnight on Tuesday, June 24, 2008".

"The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) will be observing a unilateral ceasefire in the Niger Delta region ... until further notice," the group said in an email to the media.

The announcement marked what seemed to be an abrupt change of position for the group which earlier this weekend, in an email entitled "Declaration of War", had told all foreign oil workers to leave the Niger Delta while it settled its scores with the federal government.

"We are respecting an appeal by the Niger Delta elders to give peace and dialogue another chance," MEND said in its Sunday message.

Both emails were sent from the group's usual address.
  

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