Crackdown In The Niger Delta

The Niger Delta has for some years been the site of major confrontations between the people who live there and the Nigerian government's security forces, resulting in extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, and draconian restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. These violations of civil and political rights have been committed principally in response to protests about the activities of the multinational companies that produce Nigeria's oil and the use made of the oil revenue by the Nigerian government. Although the succession by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar as head of state in June 1998brought a significant relaxation in the repression the late Gen. Sani Abacha inflicted on the Nigerian people, human rights abuses in the oil producing communities continue and the basic situation in the delta remains unchanged.