About 1,000 women marched through the streets of Port Harcourt yesterday to protest against the continued “occupation” of Bayelsa state by government troops, ‘The Guardian’ said today. The organisers of the march, the Niger Delta Women for Justice group, say soldiers and police have raped young women and killed or maimed young men, ‘the Guardian’ said. Police fired into the air and used tear-gas to disperse the protest, the newspaper added.
The women’s group has asked the government to enter into a dialogue with the militant Ijaw youths, who are demanding more control over local oil resources and warned oil companies last month to cease their operations in Bayelsa. The warning led to clashes between the Ijaw youths and security forces, up to 26 deaths, the deployment of additional troops and military equipment and the postponement of state-level elections in Bayelsa. The Transition Monitoring Group in its preliminary report on Saturday’s polls called on the government to take urgent steps to “restore normalcy” in Bayelsa so that the state-level elections could be conducted there.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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