Posted by jinn on 1st March 2011
Ben Amunwa, Niger Delta activist and Platform researcher provides analysis of the conflict, politics and root causes of the Niger Delta crisis. Subjects include the struggle of Ogoni women who succeeded in seeing Shell withdraw from Ogoniland in 1993, the origin of MEND and the December bombings of Ayakoromo.
Watch the full video and join the discussion by adding your comments here.
Tags: Africa, Ken Saro Wiwa, MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Ogoni, oil in Nigeria, Shell
Posted in Africa, Ken Saro Wiwa, MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Ogoni, Shell, Uncategorized, Violence, Women's Human Rights | No Comments »
Posted by jinn on 20th November 2009
The Critical Now
By Oronto Douglas
November 20, 2009
Reposted from NEXT
Militancy and amnesty aside, the challenge of resolving the puzzle that has denied the many communities and clans of the resource rich Niger Delta has reached emergency levels. Although the crisis was easily predictable, successive governments had treated the anger and protests as mere irritations that can be brushed aside with warning shots, arrests or in extreme cases, devastating attacks on communities.
For scholars and survivors, there is something new that should worry all lovers of peace and livelihood – the completed project of the regionalization of anger and the now emerging nationalization of grievances anchored on stubborn defiance.
In the early days of the struggles by our people against the corporations and governments, the focus of mobilisation remained in islands of clans with small numbers of dedicated individuals and rarely was cross clan collaboration involved. In the renewed agitations of the 1990s, the idea of clan collaboration began to take firm root with the emergence of the Chikoko Movement and several groups worked like this. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: amnesty in Nigeria, MEND, NEXT, Niger Delta, Niger Delta Crisis, Oil, Oronto Douglas, Shell
Posted in Amnesty, Ken Saro Wiwa, MEND, Niger Delta, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Posted by jinn on 12th October 2009
Sweet Crude Playing at United Nations Film Festival – SF screening, Free Admission
Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 2:50pm
San Francisco, Variety Screening Room
582 Market Street, San Francisco -Map
Sweet Crude, is playing for FREE on Sunday October 18th in San Francisco as part of the United Nations Film Festival. The award winning documentary captures the complex reality of how the oil industry and the Nigerian government have left the Delta in such desperation that some have turned to militancy while others struggle to survive. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with the Director and experts and activists focused on the issues in the Niger Delta.
Stay for the panel discussion with film’s Director Sandy Cioffi, Nigerian activist Suanu Bere, Professor Michael Watts who is featured in the film and Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project.
This film gives one of the best historical contexts to the current conflict in the Niger Delta, where oil companies and the Nigerian government have left the region in abject poverty, created major environmental disasters and a history of human rights abuses.
“Good characters make good docs, and Cioffi is fortunate to have thoughtful men and funny, feisty women (and sometimes vice versa) to ornament a film that provides enough history to make sense and enough humanity to wash it down. Despite the utter destruction of their environment and the fact that mothers now have to describe to their children the animals that once ran free around their homes, a sense of despondency and/or resignation is absent from what Cioffi presents. There are plenty of reasons for dread; the speed with which the air quality rots the zinc roofs of the houses makes one shudder to think what it’s doing to the inhabitants. But the mood is generally upbeat and optimistic, despite anyone’s prognosis”
Tags: Chevron, Ken Saro Wiwa, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Oil, Shell, Sweet Crude, UNAFF, Variety Screening Room
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Posted by jinn on 6th October 2009
On Sunday, several of the Niger Delta’s prominent militants agreed to the Nigerian government’s offer of amnesty at the 11th hour before the deadline on October 4th. However, it’s unclear if this is a step toward peace in the Delta or just another failed attempt of the government to gain back control of the oil producing states. The situation is still tenuous and nothing of substance has been negotiated. Here are a few perspectives:
From The Vanguard (Nigeria Newspaper):
MORE than 90 days after the amnesty package for militants in the Niger Delta came to a close, an air of uncertainty persist over the effectiveness of the initiative, especially against the backdrop of threats by the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to call off its cease-fire and reports that government has been busy acquiring fast attack helicopters and flat bed speed boats for a final showdown with militants. Read Full Article
From the BBC:
By Caroline Duffield
BBC News, Niger DeltaTalk to taxi-drivers and hotel clerks in Nigeria’s Delta region, and you hear the same words again and again: “We must give peace a chance.”
Shopkeepers smile with delight, chattering with customers about decommissioning and peace talks in the country’s oil-producing area.
For the past three months, people have watched militant warlords hold disarmament ceremonies, bringing out thousands of their followers, and stacking guns high in public.
Rocket-propelled grenades, guns, explosives, ammunition and even gunboats have all been dumped. Read Full article
Listen to BBC interview with Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project
Voice of America:
06 October 2009
Thousands of militants surrendered their weapons under the just-concluded amnesty program after years of fighting in the oil-producing Niger Delta. Government officials have hailed the amnesty as a huge success. It may be too early to say whether the initiative will translate into lasting peace. Read Full Article
International Crisis group
Tags: Amnesty, MEND, militants, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Nigerian Military, oil in Nigeria, Tompolo
Posted in Amnesty, MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by jinn on 28th September 2009
Nnimmo Bassey is Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth Nigeria an ally of JINN. He was just named one of Time Magazine’s Environmental Heroes of 2009 -Congratulations Nnimmo!
It wasn’t an oil spill that made Nnimmo Bassey an environmentalist. It was a massacre — the 1990 assault by Nigeria’s armed forces on the village of Umuechem, where residents of the oil-rich Niger Delta had accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company of environmental degradation and economic neglect. In two days of violence, 80 people died and nearly 500 houses were destroyed. “We woke up from a sleep and … everything was collapsing around us,” says Bassey, 51, head of Environmental Rights Action, the Nigerian chapter of Friends of the Earth.
The deaths convinced Bassey and his colleagues that they needed to broaden their efforts. “We realized that if people don’t have a safe environment to live in, then they don’t have literally any other rights,” he says.
The petroleum wealth of the Niger Delta runs from the ground into government coffers and the accounts of foreign oil majors, leaving the region one of the poorest in the world. Its schools are crumbling. Its hospitals often lack doors — never mind modern equipment. Electricity, drinking water and employment are all in short supply. The oil itself doesn’t always flow smoothly. Spills are common, all the more so because thieves tap into pipelines and angry villagers prevent infrastructure maintenance. If oil catches fire, it can burn for days. Bassey’s group documents all these consequences and educates people about their rights. “Oil has been the destruction of the Nigerian economy,” says Bassey. “It destroys the relation between the people and the state.”
In a country where 85% of government revenues rely on oil money, Bassey’s positions often pit him against the authorities. Under the dictatorship of the 1990s, he was stripped of his travel papers and detained without trial several times. As the battle over Nigeria’s oil wealth has turned into full-blown militancy, he has found himself on the same side as the armed rebels who have taken on the now democratic government in Abuja. While Bassey disagrees with the militants’ tactics — kidnapping of oil workers, attacks on infrastructure, clashes with the military — he stops short of condemning them. “Any society that uses violence against its own people will eventually have a segment that stands up against it.”
Faris is the author of Forecast: The Surprising — and Immediate — Consequences of Climate Change
‘Plant a garden today, even if in boxes! Save all that energy used to transport food over thousands of miles.’ — Nnimmo Bassey
Tags: Envrionmental Rights Action, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Nnimmo Bassey
Posted in MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by jinn on 14th September 2009
Last week, it was reported that the Nigerian government is gearing up for another offensive in the Niger Delta, despite the government’s pledge to support an amnesty and a 60-day ceasefire and the widespread belief that a military offensive will not solve the crisis in the the Delta. Below is an analysis by the Director of the African Security Research Project
Analysis by Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project
Reprinted from Inter Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep 13 (IPS) – There is mounting evidence that the government of Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua is set to launch a full-scale offensive in the Niger Delta when a ceasefire declared by rebels ends on Sep. 15.
And this time, Nigerian military forces will be using special warships, helicopter gunships and troop transports, and unmanned drone intelligence planes and ships sold to Nigeria by Israeli, Malaysian, Singaporean, Dutch and Russian companies.
Israeli and Russian instructors have been providing specialised training to Nigerian Navy and Air Force sailors and pilots in how to operate the ships and helicopters over the past few months, and some of these instructors may help operate them during the offensive.
On Jul. 15, President Yar’adua declared a 60-day amnesty for members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the armed group that has been conducting an insurgency campaign in the Delta for the past five years. The amnesty offer is set to expire at midnight on Oct. 4.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: amnesty in Nigeria, Daniel Volman, Israel, MEND, military offensive, Niger Delta
Posted in MEND, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Uncategorized | No Comments »