Nigeria: Shell linked to military abuses in 1990s
Date: 3 Oct 2011
Shell funded police actions in Ogoniland that led to human rights abuses, according to court documents recently released. Confidential internal communications suggest that the company paid Nigeria's military to stop protests against its presence.
One letter from Shell showed that it agreed in 1994 to pay for the army to retrieve a truck, an action which - according to the Guardian newspaper - left one Ogoni man dead and two others wounded. The letter described the payment as "a show of gratitude and motivation for a sustained favourable disposition in future assignments."
The company has owned up to pollution in the area arising from oil spills. It has, however, always resisted suggestions that it was liable in any way for human rights abuses.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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