Nigeria's leading oil militant group is declaring a conditional ceasefire in attacks that are losing the West African nation a million barrels of petroleum a day. The Niger Delta Avengers also say they are willing to negotiate a peace deal.

A statement posted on the group's website and dated Saturday says they will continue the "cessation of hostilities" on the condition that the country's security forces stop harassing civilians.

The announcement follows a call Friday by community elders for all militants to join a dialogue for peace.

President Muhammadu Buhari's government already is in talks with other militants.

The Niger Delta Avengers' attacks have cut production by 40 percent this year and caused Nigeria to lose its place to Angola as Africa's biggest oil producer.