Der fühere EU-innenkommissar und heutige Außenminister Italiens bereist gegenwärtig vier afrikanische Länder. Bei seinem Besuch in Nigeria warb er für italienische Produkte insbesondere für Polizei- und Militärausrüstung, mit der Italien die Regierung des ölreichen westafrikanischen Landes unterstützen will. Er kündigte in diesem Rahmen die Lieferung von zwei Patrouillienbooten an Nigeria an, die im Niger-Delta die Aktivitäten der Ölfirmen schützen und den sicheren Transport des Öles gewährleisten sollen. Zahlreiche bewaffnete Gruppen kämpfen in Nigeria schon lange gegen die Regierung und die ausländischen Ölfirmen, fordern Unabhängigkeit der Ölreichen Provinzen und eine Beteiligung der Bevölkerung an den Profiten der Ölindustrie. Neben Anschlägen auf deren Einrichtungen werden ihre Mitarbeiter auch Opfer von Entführungen. Nun hat eine der größten Rebellengruppen gedroht, dass als Reaktion auf die Rüstungskooperation mit Italien zukünftig verstärkt Firment und Mitarbeiter aus Italien zum Ziel von Anschlägen und Entführungen werden könnten. Die Meldung die italienische Nachrichtenagentur Ansa folgt am Ende, zuvor noch einige weitere Meldungen zum Thema:
Nigerian militants target Italians - Oil company workers ‘at risk’ after Italy offers boats
(ANSA) - Rome, February 11 - Nigerian militants on Wednesday threatened to attack Italian companies and workers in the West African country after Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Italy would supply the government with military technology. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Nigerian Delta (MEND), which is demanding that the oil-rich region be given independence and that money from oil be used to reduce poverty locally, said the Agip unit of Italian fuels group ENI would be among targets.
”The Italian government has made an unsolicited offer to supply two patrol boats to the Nigerian army, which is conducting an unjust war against the population of the Niger Delta,” said MEND spokesman Jomo Gbomo.
Gbomo said Italy, like the United Kingdom, ”believes the best way to take oil from the Niger Delta is to support an army and a government oppressing a long-exploited people”.
”This puts the Italian workers and companies in the country at serious risk”.
He added that Italy’s offer to supply the boats could be the first of many in order to sustain Italian industry, and that the Nigerian customers ”are too blind and foolish to understand that this is just another commercial Trojan horse”.
Local people blame foreign oil companies for environmental damage to their fishing and farming and militants have declared an ‘oil war’, staging attacks and kidnappings against the industry and government targets over the last three years.
MEND, one of the main militant groups, claimed it had attacked a gas plant operated by Royal Dutch Shell on Saturday.
The group has been holding two British oil workers since September, but hostages are usually released unharmed after a short period, sometimes after a ransom has been paid.
Last month an 11-year-old girl was killed by gunmen as she tried to prevent the kidnap of her brother.
In 2007 four Italian oil workers were held hostage in the Nigerian forests for over a month.
Frattini, who is currently in Nigeria on a four-country African tour, said Tuesday that Italy would give Nigeria the two boats to patrol the Niger Delta in a bid to prevent attacks on Western oil interests in the area, including those of ENI.
On Wednesday he confirmed that the Nigerian government had also expressed interest in Italian military technology for a series of supplies in the defence sector including naval, aeronautical and army equipment and vehicles such as armoured cars.
However, Frattini said he was ”very struck” by the alarm voiced by Nigerian leaders over rising pollution in the Niger Delta, adding that they were ”very concerned.” He said Italy needed to contribute to a political solution for the Niger Delta which went beyond supplying patrol boats and training police. Nigeria is Africa’s second-biggest oil producer after Angola.
Frattini invited Nigeria to take part in outreach sessions that will be held at this year’s Group of Eight summit on the island of La Maddalena off northern Sardinia July 8-10 with Italy as duty chair.