The Philippines now is announcing that not six but all 24 crewmembers of a German ship have been kidnapped and held hostage in a local village.LINK2
To complicate matters, two Westerners, either British or American, have been kidnapped from an oil site in Port Harcourt. This is in addition to LINk ten South Koreans seized and later released earlier this month in the region.LINK2
The news stories imply that these incidents will calm down after the April elections, but the long standing grievences of local tribesmen, who do not benefit from oil wealth, is probably not going to be appeased by fair elections.

To complicate matters, it is unclear what group has done the kidnappings, or even if it is the same group.

The corruption of Nigeria is a matter of record, and the grievences between the government and the southern tribes who are Chrstian, is also longstanding. To complicate matters, at least one rebel group reported has AlQaeda ties.LINK

“… One of the main Ijaw militant groups leading the insurgency, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said in an early October statement that its goal “remains the destruction of the Nigerian oil industry and all who stand on the pathway to our objective,” warning that a “worst-case scenario” could result in a one to two year shutdown of Nigeria’s oil industry in the delta..”

This could be serious, since Nigeria is the eighth largest exporter of oil.

Even when I was still in practice, my Okie patients who were oil workers told me that it was too risky to work in Nigeria; now the Philippine oil workers will be kept from work there by the Arroyo government. And these attacks have hit the oil exporting ability of Nigeria.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines with her husband, six dogs, three cats, and a large extended family. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

In the past she has worked in the oil country of Oklahoma and many years ago worked in Liberia, where she helped evacuate sick sailors off oil tankers off the coast of West Africa.

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