Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Shell pays blood money to Ogonis

This essay is part of an occasional feature on this blog that presents compelling stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, IsraelStine and the Trumped Up Enemy of the Month. A list of all pieces in this series can be found found here..

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has agreed to pay $15.5 million in blood money to a group of plaintiffs from the Ogoni region of Nigeria. The group had filed a lawsuit in US court alleging Shell's complicity with human rights abuses in the Niger Delta region of the country. The multinational pretended that the agreement was a "humanitarian gesture," presumably thinking that someone might be fooled. If Shell is suddenly concerned with "humanitarianism," perhaps they could stop the toxic gas flaring and other environmental and resulting human devastation that they are causing in the Delta.

Other sources on the story...
-The Independent (UK daily)
-This Day (Nigeria daily)
-Essay by Ken Saro Wiwa Jr. (background)
-Shell Guilty (pressure group)
-Shell (corporate press release)

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