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Nigeria’s Ogoni Movement Welcomes Shell’s Loss of Oilfields

Bloomberg

 

 

Nigeria’s Ogoni Movement Welcomes Shell’s Loss of Oilfields 

By Tony Tamuno

June 5 (Bloomberg) — A group representing Nigeria’s Ogoni people has welcomed the government’s decision to strip Royal Dutch Shell Plc of oilfields in a region in the southeast of the country because of tensions between the company and local communities.

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, or Mosop, wants to help the government decide to which company the fields will be reassigned, Ledum Mitee, president of the group, said in an interview today.

“We think that it is quite a commendable and a bold step” that may allow the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland,” Mitee said.

Ogoni protests in the early 1990s were led by writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned for a greater share of oil revenue and an end to pollution by oil companies. He was hanged in 1995 after being convicted of murder by a military court.

Shell, Nigeria’s biggest foreign oil producer, was forced to quit Ogoniland in 1993, shutting Bomu and other oilfields pumping about 28,000 barrels a day because of threats to employees from local communities. Access to repair pipelines and installations there has frequently been denied by locals.

Shell said yesterday that it hasn’t been informed of the government’s decision.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Tamuno in Port Harcourt via Johannesburg at [email protected]

Last Updated: June 5, 2008 12:13 EDT

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