Toxic disaster revealed in Ivory Coast

Sept. 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM

LONDON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Greenpeace and Amnesty International called on British authorities to investigate the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast by a multinational company.

Amnesty International and Greenpeace, in a report that came as a result of three years of research, said multinational company Trafigura dumped toxic waste in and around Abidjan, the commercial capital of Ivory Coast, in 2006.

"Although Trafigura was convicted in a Dutch court of illegally exporting the waste from the Netherlands, the company was given immunity from prosecution in Ivory Coast," the report states. "Trafigura claims the dumping and its aftermath were not its fault."

Trafigura said the report misrepresents the issues and simplifies what it says is a complex legal issue.

The report states that chemical waste was taken to Abidjan in a ship chartered by the company and disposed of, untreated, at various dumping sites in the city.

Trafigura made an estimated $160 million payment to the Ivorian government in 2007, though it didn't admit liability in the case.

Amnesty International, in its report, offered five pages of recommendations, including a call for a British examination into the allegations. Trafigura has headquarters in the Netherlands, though it has corporate offices in London.

The report recommends that "all states" examine regulatory framework to ensure companies respect human rights and the environment.

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