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Ogoni crisis returns to threaten Shell

The Niger Delta’s Ogoniland crisis may seem to have peaked when Sani Abacha’s military regime hanged writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists in November 1995, but issues from that period have never gone away. A fresh action brought in the UK Supreme Court by lawyers Leigh Day on behalf of 40,000 Ogale and Bille people has the potential to cause major harm to Royal Dutch Shell, which has always argued it cannot be held liable for actions by its joint venture with the government, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in which Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation held 55% but Shell was operator.

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