African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Insurgents using oil to get attention

Posted by African Press International on March 9, 2008

From Scott A Morgan

The attack over the Weekend of March 8th in the Cabinda Province of Africa could be indictative of a new tactic. They are targeting the Oil-Rich Provinces in their respective States to ensure that the Western Powers listen to their Grievances.This attack by Rebels in Angola comes in the same week when Henry Okah the Unofficial spokesman for MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) was extradited back to Nigeria from Angola.

He now faces Charges of Treason that if he is convicted could lead to his Execution. The extradition also comes in the same week that the group sent a letter to President Bush asking for his Mediation in the crisis.Another Country that was recently in Crisis is T’Chad. Insurgents reportedly Armed and Encouraged by Sudan launched an Attempt to overthrow the Government. Although Many Observers felt that this was an attempt by Sudan to prevent the European Union from sending Peacekeepers to the Region. In Recent Years T’Chad has discovered Oil in the Country. It Produces about 800,000 Barrels Anually. Instead of improving the Infrastructure in the Country the Government has procured Arms. It ships its Oil to the Gulf of Guniea with a Terminus in Cameroon.

There have been riots recently in Cameroon as well. The Motivation of the Rioters in Cameroon is more Political than Oil Related. The President is trying to Amend the Constitution in order to run for an Additional Term of Office. There has also been a crackdown against Independent Media Outlets as well. There will be ample reasons to monitor this situation the closer the Election Date draws near.The attacks in Cabinda do have interesting timing especially after a Peace Deal was signed in August 2006. Cabinda is the location of most of the Oil Drilling of Angola. So Luanda wants to ensure that it remains part of the country despite that there is no connection with the rest of the country. So what impact will these incidents have besides raising concerns regarding not only about the Supplies of Oil on the International Market but also regional stability as well? In recent weeks Oil has topped more than $100 a barrell in trading. But there may be a platform for the United States to intervene if it is deemed necessary. Earlier this Year the US launched AFRICOM (African Command). One of the areas that the US has interest in is the Gulf of Guniea. This area which is one of the most unstable parts of Africa is also home to the majority of the Oil Production.

Currently one of the Main Missions of AFRICOM is Protection of Energy Production locations. The region also happens to be where the US is conducting most of its African Counter Terrorism Operations as well.It will be in the best interests of the United States and the West to ensure that the region is stable. But the efforts should not be based entirely on Oil However. Those that are cynical will argue that the only reason for any form of Intervention is for Petroleum. Political Stability has to be Paramount for any effort to be successful.So what will be the next move by those who advocate Democratic Reforms? And more importantly where do they want it and how will it be implemented? There are people that want change but noone is listening to them.The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet.

Published by API africanpress@getmail.no

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