UN Report Whitewashes Mass Murder, Ecocide by Shell Oil and Nigerian Government

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 06:42
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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

For more than 50 years, the Royal Dutch Shell corporation and its Nigerian government partners have inflicted the world's worst oil pollution on the people of the Niger River Delta. Now, the United Nations squanders its dwindling prestige to help whitewash the vast environmental and human rights crime. According to a UN report, the Nigerian people are to blame for soaking the Delta in 9 to 13 million barrels of oil. 

UN Report Whitewashes Mass Murder, Ecocide by Shell Oil and Nigerian Government

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"The United Nations has attempted to facilitate a corporate-government cover-up of monumental dimensions."

In July of last year, Amnesty International released a report, documenting the vast environmental and human rights degradations imposed on the people of the Niger River Delta by 50 years of oil exploration and production. Amnesty International sent a letter to Peter Voser, the newly appointed CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the dominant company in the Delta oil fields, asking him to "come clean" on the "failures and poor practice" of both Shell and the Nigerian government. A little over a year later, Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian government have presented their answer, in the form of a monstrous whitewash produced in collusion with an agency of the United Nations.

The United Nations Environmental Program study, which was paid for by Shell oil, rewrites history to blame 90 percent of the region's pollution on spills caused by local people, tapping into oil pipelines and from sabotage by guerilla groups. The United Nations agency admits that it only studied 300 petroleum spill sites on a list given to it by Shell oil, and vouched for by Shell's partners in the Nigerian government. The true scope of Niger River Delta pollution is catastrophic, with the equivalent of 9 to 13 million barrels of oil fouling the waterways, farmlands and mangrove forests of Africa's largest wetland. That's at least twice as much oil as escaped in the recent Gulf of Mexico disaster, thus ranking Nigeria and Shell as the number one oil polluters in the world. Now the two super-polluters try to blame the people for their own half-century of crimes.

The UN agency is now backtracking, claiming its study is not yet done and there will be no report until early next year. The figures used in the study, the UN says, are the responsibility of the Nigerian government and Shell oil. If that is the case, then the study has no credibility whatsoever.

"The two super-polluters try to blame the people for their own half-century of crimes."

Twenty-seven years ago, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, itself, noted the "slow poisoning of the waters...and the destruction of vegetation and agricultural land by oil spills which occur during petroleum operations." The 1983 report declared that, "since the inception of the oil industry in Nigeria, more than twenty-five years ago, there has been no concerned and effective effort on the part of the government, let alone the oil operators, to control environmental problems associated with the industry." Thus, 27 years ago, the oil companies and the government had already been committing environmental crimes against the people of the Niger River Delta for a quarter of a century. It is commonly accepted that oil tapping by local people and guerilla sabotage are relatively recent phenomena.

Shell Oil and the Nigerian government have no shame. Delta residents fear the UN report will be used as an excuse for stepped up Nigerian government military operations in the region. There is also good reason to worry that the United States might seize on the UN report to add an environmental justification for its expanding military activities in West Africa. The United Nations, once the hope of the planet, has in this instance attempted to facilitate a corporate-government cover-up of monumental dimensions. But the evidence cannot be hidden. It oozes from every nook and cranny of the Niger River Delta. And the people know how it got there.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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Submitted by akechlo on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 15:14.

There is no African ruling elite in charge of events other than law enforcement and crowd control in their respective sphere of influence.

The so called “independent” celebrations in African states, particularly Sub Saharan Africa, are merely "masquerade parties" held to commemorate the creation of African security guards system by the colonial powers who are in control the natural resources in the region. African security guards run governments on behalf of colonial rulers who are calling the shots in the background. The security guards operate under strict instructions given by their foreign handlers/promoters; maintaining law and order so that exploitation of vast natural resources run smoothly. The guards must guarantee the safety and security of the foreign investors operating in their territories in exchange for foreign aid. Foreign aids are geared towards buying the arms and paying the salaries of those enforcing the laws. Development is not in the vocabularies these law enforcement agents in Africa.

Since “independence” any African leader attempting to take care of the interests of his citizens, thus disobeying his assigned security guard duties, has been mercilessly assassinated or overthrown! Case in point, Thomas Sankara of Bukima Faso.



The west glorifies people like Paul Kagame who has overseen the deaths of about 7 million Africans in both Rwanda and Congo Basin. His reign of terror is praised in the west. The first American President with roots in Africa cannot touch Paul Kagame.
Could it be that Africans and African Americans are too dysfunctional to get together in a united front and raise these issues as a group instead of operating individually as lone wolves! Why are we such miserable failures?

Pollution, including the dumping of toxic wastes coming from the west, particularly, European Union, is massive and African guardsmen are participating in it full time. The dump sites and toxicity associated with them are directed towards heavily populated areas where 99.9% of poor Africans, abandoned by lack of development, reside. The elite guardsmen who are in the pockets of foreign handlers view any complaining African citizen as the enemy to be severely dealt with!

South Africa:


***************** African American and Jails************
I have just gathered that some torture gadget invented by Raytheon and paid for by the pentagon is now being tested for used in jails in America. The gadget called “PAIN RAY” is heading for use in jails, filled to capacity with African American young men!

I guess what is bad for Afghani detainees must be good for Americans in jails! At least, this is how corporations view the masses under their control. After all, politicians who make these rules are merely actors whose scripts are written by corporations who control their rise to power through political donations!

That ship's already sailed

Submitted by Brutal Truth on Thu, 08/26/2010 - 19:55.

" Now, the United Nations squanders its dwindling prestige..."

As far as I'm concerned the U.N. is absolutely meaningless post-March 2003. Considering that the Geneva Conventions define launching a war of aggression as the supreme international crime (their words) and considering that the U.N. was founded by the Allies in WWII ostensibly to PREVENT wars of aggression and condemn the aggressors, by the fact that they didn't permanently ban the U.S. from the U.N. in 2003 when America launched its war of aggression against Iraq then nothing that the U.N. has said or done since carries any moral weight whatsoever.

Now I realize that the U.S. pays about 20% of the U.N.'s bills and its headquarters is in New York City so one could easily see that the U.N. knows which side its bread is buttered on, fair enough. But because it lacked the guts to say "to hell with America and its unprovoked aggression -- we're moving our headquarters to Geneva and reducing operating expenses by 20%" then nothing it says has any value since.

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