Monday, January 21, 2008

Nigerian gunmen want George Clooney meeting

From Energy Current:

Hollywood actor George Clooney has been invited to Nigeria by the country's most prolific militant group. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wants the Ocean's Eleven star to visit the region in his role as messanger of peace for the United Nations (UN), the UK's Scotland on Sunday newspaper has reported.

Clooney (46) was handed the role by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following his campaign for an end to war in the Darfur region of Sudan and aid for the millions caught in the conflict. The invite is understood to be part of a broader call by MEND for UN intervention in troubles which have blighted the oil-rich African nation for years.

MEND and other militant organisations have orchestrated numerous kidnappings as they push for a larger share of Nigeria's oil wealth. The situation has led many oil groups, particularly Shell, to reconsider their involvement in the Niger Delta. In September last year, media in the Niger Delta reported that Shell could cut as many as 3,500 posts, most of which are held by Nigerians, in the region, but it is understood that no decision has yet been taken.