Nigeria: Shell to pay activist settlement

June 9, 2009 at 8:21 AM
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LAGOS, Nigeria, June 9 (UPI) -- Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell said it will pay $15.5 million to the family of Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa who was killed in 1995.

The family alleged in a lawsuit that the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell was in part responsible for Saro-Wiwa's hanging and the torture and death of eight other environmental activists during the country's military dictatorship. Shell settled the suits with no admission of wrongdoing and said the $15.5 million payment was part of a process of reconciliation, the BBC said.

Half the money will go to the fund to Nigeria's Ogoni tribe in the oil-rich Niger Delta, Nigeria's Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday.

"In reaching this settlement, we were very much aware that we are not the only Ogonis who have suffered in our struggle with Shell, which is why we insisted on creating the Kiisi Trust," said the son of Saro-Wiwa, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., following Monday's settlement.

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