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Article

3 Oct 2011

Author:
David Smith, Guardian [UK]

Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria by paying rival militant gangs

Shell has fuelled armed conflict in Nigeria by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to feuding militant groups, according to an investigation by the oil industry watchdog Platform, and a coalition of non-government organisations. The oil giant is implicated in a decade of human rights abuses in the Niger delta, the study says, claiming that its routine payments exacerbated local violence, in one case leading to the deaths of 60 people and the destruction of an entire town. Platform's investigation…also alleges that government forces hired by Shell perpetrated atrocities against local civilians, including unlawful killings and systematic torture. Shell disputes the report, defending its human rights record and questioning the accuracy of the evidence, but has pledged to study the recommendations…Shell insisted that it respected human rights and was committed to working with Nigeria to ensure that the country benefited from its natural resources.

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