Da circa una settimana la lotta contro i siti Shell si e' fatta nuovamente intensa. Pochi giorni fa giovani armati della comunita' Ijaw hanno occupato delle stazioni di pompaggio della compagnia richiedendo migliori servizi sociali per la regione.
I manifestanti hanno richiesto ai lavoratori stranieri di abbandonare le installazioni petrolifere della regione, perche' non sarebbe piu' stato possibile garantire la loro sicurezza. Nel frattempo sono anche stati sequestrati dai manifestanti due elicotteri della Shell.
L'occupazione delle stazioni rimarra tale fino a che non verranno accolte le richieste dei manifestanti.
Anche l'Agip, per gli stessi motivi, e' stata investita dalla rabbia dei manifestanti e afferma che sta perdendo, a causa delle lotte in atto, 150.000 barili al giorno.
Dear Shell campaigners, Residents of the Niger River delta continue are continuing their actions against Shell and other oil companies! The following three articles from the Financial Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday are about the uprisings. We need to keep reminding the media of the immense influence Shell has on the Nigerian government and challenge Shell's claims of goodwill in oil producing regions. If Shell was sincerely outraged by the economic injustices and distribution of oil fund in these communities, it would it would clean up its immense pollution COMPLETELY and it would demand IMMEDIATE support for communities in oil producing regions. Keep showing your solidarity with these incredibly brave residents who are speaking out in the only way left to them! Remember that November 10 is the third anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa -- start planning now! Action suggestions will follow soon. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Foreign workers urged to quit Financial Times (London) October 13, 1998, Tuesday SECTION: INTERNATIONAL; Pg. 04 Nigeria's enforced drop in oil output continued yesterday as protesters called on foreign oil workers to leave oil installations in the southern delta region. Armed youths from the Ijaw community have occupied pumping stations for the past week, demanding better social services for the Niger River delta and complaining it does not receive a fair share of the oil revenue. Last week, Royal Dutch/Shell announced the shutdown of 15 flow stations. This has cut its normal 850,000 b/d output by 378,000 barrels. Total Nigerian production by all companies is about 2.3m b/d, and accounts for 95 per cent of export earnings. Michael Holman, Africa Editor = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = YOUTHS ATTACKING OIL FACILITIES DEMAND FOREIGNERS LEAVE REGION Chicago Tribune, October 13, 1998 SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 15; ZONE: N; Around the world. LAGOS, NIGERIA Youths who have attacked oil installations in southern Nigeria were demanding foreign oil workers leave the area by Monday, a Lagos newspaper said. A letter sent Sunday to foreign embassies urged them to ask their nationals to leave, saying their safety could no longer be guaranteed, the Vanguard newspaper reported. The ethnic Ijaw youths also promised to step up activities against oil companies and to "indefinitely" sustain their occupation of oil stations until their demands are met. The letter followed a week of angry protests by the Ijaw youths, who have been attacking Shell Oil sites in the Niger River delta region, trying to use Nigeria's dependence on petroleum exports to force the government to pay attention to their grievances. Registration for next year's presidential vote began last week, and groups in the region have been using the occasion to draw attention to what they say is their exclusion from the political process. Shell was forced to send a notice Thursday to its crude buyers that it could not guarantee availability of crude because of "the shutdown of 378,000 barrels of crude production from 15 flow stations." On Wednesday, armed protesters seized two helicopters belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Co., Shell's Nigerian joint venture, and took control of an oil rig. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = OIL-RICH BUT STILL DIRT-POOR / NIGERIANS ANGRY AS DREAMS FADE Newsday (New York, NY), October 13, 1998 SECTION: NEWS; Page A08 By Tina Susman. AFRICA CORRESPONDENT Ogbia, Nigeria - Willie MacEfeli was a boy of 9 when strange men in hard hats bored a 12,000-foot hole into the mushy ground outside his village and began drawing oil from it. He was too young to comprehend the value of the strange black liquid but old enough to be caught up in the hopes and dreams that came with it. There were thoughts of jobs, paved roads to link neighboring communities, telephones, lights, hospitals, schools and real houses to replace the muddy, damp huts where most people lived, says MacEfeli, now 51 and the manager of the town of Ogbia's sole guest house and restaurant. "We were all looking forward to some brighter days to come, but the difference between now and the way we were back then in the 50s isn't much," he said with a slight shrug and sigh of resignation. "It makes me angry, because I want to live well. I want my house to be like an American's." There still are no phone lines to connect Ogbia to anyplace on earth, nor any paved streets. The only link to neighboring villages is via dugout canoes rowed through the murky swamps or by foot along deeply rutted lanes that turn to goo during the nearly six-month rainy season. The muddy banks of the lagoon on which Ogbia is perched are strewn with garbage and reek of human waste. The closest city, Yenegoa, is a hair-raising 75-minute speedboat ride along waterways that zigzag through the dense, dark green forest past dozens of villages just like Ogbia: primitive, isolated, utterly impoverished and sitting atop fantastic riches. Herein lies the great irony of Nigeria, a country both blessed and cursed by the crude oil discovered by Shell deep beneath a muddy field in Ogbia more than 40 years ago and now pumped out of the earth at a rate of 2 million barrels daily. It has elevated Nigeria to the rank of the world's sixth-largest oil producer, gained it entry to the elite club of OPEC nations, and earned its government and the multinational oil companies operating here tens of billions of dollars. At the same time, it has pitted communities and environmentalists against the oil companies, the oil companies against the government, and the government against critics who dare question its role in the rape of the country's wealth and resources. In November, 1995, the issue caught world attention when the military regime of Gen. Sani Abacha executed the oil companies most prominent critic, Ken Saro-Wiwa, an activist who accused the government and Shell of allowing environmental devastation of the oil-rich land occupied by his Ogoni tribe and neglecting the needs of the people. Three years later, both the oil companies and community leaders say Saro-Wiwa's hanging forever changed the way they are responding to a problem that had festered for decades. "Maybe somehow it put the fear of God in every-body," said Bobo Sofiri Brown, a spokesman for Shell's eastern division, which encompasses five Nigerian states and 52 oil fields that pump about 408,000 barrels daily from a total of 442 wells. "It strengthened us to do more, because the militant community outcry focused more attention on local conditions. It sent shockwaves through the entire Delta region, and we were caught in those shock waves," he said. The communities say the oil companies aren't doing nearly enough for them. But the oil companies say Nigerians should aim their anger at a corrupt system of government in which successive military dictators stuff their pockets with oil profits at the expense of regular Nigerians such as those in Ogbia. "This company pays quite a hefty tax to the government. It's the responsibility of the government to provide development," says Deirdre LaPin, who heads a Shell program designed to mend relations with oil communities through a variety of developmental projects, such as the building of schools and clinics. "Shell is not a donor, but in recent years it has had to become one." Adds Chris Haynes, Shell's managing director for the eastern region, "The debate is how much can and should a company try to do. We're not a town planning authority." Most of the public's anger is directed toward Shell because its operations in Ogoni territory were well-publicized during Saro-Wiwa's campaign, and because its nationwide presence dwarfs that of the other oil companies here: Mobil, Chevron, Elf, Texaco and Agip. On top of Shell's eastern region operations, it has 35 oil stations farther west. Depending on OPEC production quotas, its total output accounts for as many as 830,000 barrels daily. In addition, Shell says it is an easier target than other companies because it has no off-shore operations, only inland wells and stations situated close to the villages that feel cheated. "We're on land, so we get all the flak," said Haynes. But other companies are far from immune to the troubles, which have escalated in frequency and boldness since Saro-Wiwa's death and with Nigeria's continuing political and economic turmoil. Oil companies operating off-shore have had boats seized and crews held hostage by groups of youths armed with machetes and clubs and demanding ransoms to compensate them for alleged oil spills. In volatile Bayelsa state, where Ogbia is located and where 40 percent of Nigeria's oil is produced, an angry mob recently ransacked Agip's main base of operations. Hijackings or hostage-takings have become almost daily occurrences in the industry, Haynes said, and the wild demands made indicate the growing level of anger and, perhaps, desperation among the people responsible for them. During the World Cup, villagers were seizing Shell boats in the Delta regularly and demanding to be taken to town to watch the latest matches. Recently, some villagers demanded compensation for roofs they say were blown off by Shell helicopters years ago. Most incidents end peacefully after negotiations involving community elders and company officials, but there is no sign of abating anger on the side of villagers, who want to know why they aren't getting jobs from the oil companies operating in their backyards, and why the companies, which have provided modern housing and schools for their own employees, can't do the same for them. "The feeling of the people is that so much wealth has been taken away, and they've been left with no-thing," Chief Godwin Abel said as he showed a visitor around the old Shell wells outside Ogbia. "We believe we've been cheated," MacEfeli said. "They came, they took everything, and they went away." Shell's first well in Nigeria was drilled in June, 1956, and now sits idle in a field in Ogbia. Nearby, another idle well is surrounded by a pool of oily water, evidence, Abel says, of leakage caused by neglect of old equipment. Shell stopped pumping these wells years ago, saying they were no longer producing enough oil, but Ogbia residents suspect Shell is hoarding vast reserves under their land and waiting until tensions subside before they come back to pump them. Such attitudes frustrate Shell officials, who say they've spent tens of millions of dollars on oil communities as part of the company's community development program. In the past five years, LaPin said, the company has built 256 schools, 69 hospitals and 28 town halls, and completed scores of road, agriculture and water purification projects. "These are the types of development activities that a government normally would undertake," she said, adding that Shell had budgeted $ 50 million for the development program in 1998. But Shell says its efforts are being undermined by militants who are sabotaging its equipment to cause oil spills and then demanding compensation from the company for environmental damage. Of 130 spills recorded in 1997, Shell says 54 were caused by sabotage, 23 by human error and 53 by equipment failures. But sabotage cases result in far greater spillage than human error or equipment failures because they tend to be more devastating - such as a huge hole drilled into a pipeline - and because they are kept hidden to ensure the spill is widespread and the cleanup costly, said Hubert Nwokolo, Shell's deputy manager in the region. A costly cleanup means money for the villagers, Nwokolo explained, because they refuse Shell access to the spill sites unless it agrees to hire them for cleanup duties. The economies of these villages are virtually nonexistent. Most people live hand-to-mouth, subsisting on what their small plots of land produce and on the fish they capture in broad nets cast into the lagoons. Youths complain that lucrative jobs with the oil companies are denied them because of discrimination against the ethnic minorities that live in the Delta and because of cronyism in the industry. Community leaders, however, deny the allegations of widespread sabotage and say Shell and other oil companies set the stage for environmental devastation years ago by taking advantage of the Nigerian government's lax standards and letting their equipment rot. "The marine life is finished, destroyed. The oil - you can even smell it in the bones of the fish," S.A. Gbakumor, a local government official from Bayelsa state, said bitterly as he waited to be taken to where three Texaco boats were being held by angry villagers. Gbakumor said he would attempt to negotiate an end to the crisis but warned that such incidents will continue until oil companies take on more responsibility for the communities where they operate. "They're the people extracting the wealth," he said. "The government is not developing the communities, so who else do we hang onto?" GRAPHIC: Newsday Photos / Tina Susman - 1) Gas pumps are empty in Yenegoa, located in an oil-rich part of Nigeria. 2) Villagers in Ogbia, Nigeria, are angry their town is underdeveloped, although Shell has pumped oil there since 1956. 3) Newsday Photo/Tina Susman Chief Godwin Abel at Shell's first Nigerian oil well, now idle. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Monica Wilson Essential Action P.O. Box 19405, Washington, DC 20036, 202.387.8030, 202.234.5176 (fax) email@example.com http://www.essential.org/action/shell/ _______________________________________________________ SHELL-NIGERIA-ACTION list info: Stay informed of current events in Nigeria, actions being taken across the world, and discussion of human rights and environmental rights in Nigeria. The SHELL-NIGERIA-ACTION listserve is a vehicle for sharing current news and activist ideas for the campaign to restore democracy in Nigeria and to demand corporate responsibility of Royal Dutch/Shell. There are hundreds of activists around the world linked through this listserve- Please join us! . Subscribe by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org The message should read subscribe shell-nigeria-action YourName You can post messages to email@example.com to reach subscribers. 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============================================= BBC Thursday, October 8, 1998 Published at 22:50 GMT 23:50 UK Nigerian protesters seize Shell helicopters Nigeria is one of the world's biggest oil producers Oil giant Shell says it can no longer guarantee supplies of crude oil from Nigeria after armed protesters seized more than 10 stations, two helicopters and a drilling rig. The action has halted more than a fifth of the country's oil output of two million barrels per day. But the demonstrators, many of them ethnic Ijaws, have vowed to continue attacking Shell sites until they get a new local government. They say Nigeria's military government is siding with the rival Itsekiri group in the area. In the latest attacks the protesters seized two helicopters from a Shell-owned helipad in the oil rich Niger River delta. Demonstrators also took control of a nearby oil rig belonging to a foreign contractor working for the company. Armed youths had earlier seized more than 10 oil relay stations in the same region. [ image: The Ogoni tribe crisis came to a head with Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution in 1996] The protests are the first in several years to have had such a drastic effect on output. They are part of an upsurge in violence in the Niger Delta where impoverished communities are demanding a greater share of the oil wealth that accounts for more than 90% of Nigeria's export income. Youth groups say their action is aimed at the government and what they call their exclusion from their country's political process. Although rich in oil, the Niger River delta states are among the poorest and most neglected in Nigeria. Shell said it had informed buyers it could no longer guarantee availability ''because of the shutdown of 378,000 barrels per day of crude production from 15 flow stations.'' The protests started four days ago when large groups, armed with automatic weapons, began boarding the flow stations which pump oil to export terminals. Agip also targetted At least 500,000 barrels of oil a day is now being lost in Nigeria - one of the world's biggest oil-producing nations. Protesters have also targetted the oil company Agip which says it is losing 130,000 barrels a day. The BBC's correspondent in Lagos, Hilary Andersson, says many inhabitants of the densely-populated delta can see multi-million dollar oil installations from their makeshift homes where there is often no electricity or public water supply. Since a crisis involving the Ogoni tribe came to a head in 1996, when community leader Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed by the military government, the people of the delta have become more politicised and the security situation now is said to be out of hand. ** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **