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AFX Europe (Focus): Shell pledges to cooperate with Nigeria efforts to end row with Ogoniland

Shell pledges to cooperate with Nigeria efforts to end row with Ogoniland
AFX Europe (Focus); May 23, 2006

LAGOS (AFX) – Royal Dutch Shell has pledged to cooperate with a government’s peace initiative to resolve its age-long row with Nigeria’s troubled Ogoniland.

Community unrest forced Shell to quit Ogoniland, where it had many oil wells, in 1993. Shell is Nigeria’s major operator, accounting for around half of the west African country’s daily output of 2.6 mln barrels.

President Olusegun Obasanjo last year set up a panel to reconcile Shell and the community.

“As a party to the reconciliation process, we commit to play our part to ensure the success of the peace initiative and as Mr President put it, ‘lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation in Ogoniland’,” Shell said in a statement here.

The Ogoni people, through the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), have been seeking local control of Nigeria’s oil wealth as well as compensation for exploration activities in their region.

Ogoniland is at the heart of the Niger Delta, home to Nigeria’s multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry. The region is also the centre of ethnic and militant unrest as a result of environmental neglect and degradation.

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