| Friday 18th July 2008 | Issue
Back to the Full Issue
MEND OF AN ERA IN NIGERIA?
that not all of the worlds energy-rich areas are violent enough, the British
government/military has decided to stick an even bigger, heavier oar into Nigeria.
In a not-subtle-at-all way, Gordon Brown publicly announced that the UK military
would weigh in to support Nigerias Shell-sponsored government in its quest
to defeat the insurgency thats been raging in the Niger Delta.
promised to send equipment, trainers and advisors to the Nigerian
military to ensure oil production can bring prosperity (to Shell &
Co), and to make sure that theres a sustainable peace in the
area. Its very hard to make an obscene profit when locals keep attacking
your oil platforms, as the oil giants have been finding out to their cost since
the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) began its campaign
For an insurgency thats been going on for
three years, in one of the worlds top oil producers, the Niger Delta insurgency
(led by the MEND) has received surprisingly little attention from the worlds
press. It does get reported however in the financial pages; even if the human
cost of multinationals drilling and poisoning of the area remains strictly
off limits for mainstream journos.
But the MENDs habit
of attacking oil platforms & installations gets a mention alongside how its
caused a further multi-dollar jump in the cost of a barrel of oil. Their insurgency
has dropped Nigerias oil production by at least a fifth as a result of the
direct targeting of the oil industry and in the knock-on effects caused by the
multinationals reluctance to exploit such a dangerous area.
so, its Gordon Bulldog Brown to the rescue. Willingness to bend
over backwards to support the oil industry is perhaps the number one trait in
any British PM, and so, true to form, another conflict is duly escalated.
much as soon as Brown had made his speech at the G8, the MEND responded by saying
their ceasefire with the Nigerian government was over, and that British interests
would suffer the consequences. And theyre not known for making
This Thursday, the 47,000 barrels-per-day
Eni pipeline was blown up by attackers in what the company, in a rare candid moment,
called a community dispute. The dispute in question is pretty clear;
one between the community and the oil industry. Within 24 hours of this attack
more than 30 militants attacked the naval boat protecting oil facilities belonging
to Shell Petroleum Development Company.
and mercenaries are getting drawn into fighting a dirty war for control of Nigerias
oil, and the locals join the dots connecting the UK government, UK oil interests
and the killing of their people. If the MEND really take up their threat of targeting
British interests, how long can it be before we start seeing an escalation (a
surge) of UK/US/NATO troops into the area, and how long before we
start getting told that the War on Terror (tm) is being redirected to West Africa?
Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send
1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?).
Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1
a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS
is post-free to prisoners.