THE ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Ibadan has blamed the Federal government of Nigeria for the oil spillage which has polluted the Niger Delta.
When you stand on the island of Rukwanzi at the heart of Lake Albert, your first thought, echoing perhaps the casual rhetoric of the region's oil men, is that you are at the edge of a new frontier.
But for its communities the lake is a centre, a point of connection and integration, the great body of water into which the White Nile flows, part of the vast rift valley that draws Africa's citizens into mutual dependency. What happens here matters to half a dozen neighbouring countries. But the lines being drawn now, as neat and straight as the borders on colonial maps, mark not sovereign territory, but exploration blocks for oil and gas companies.
"The leaders came to Rio with, clearly, very low ambitions, and probably with the desire to block agreements on any issue that would not be of particular benefit to them or their countries. They’ve come out with a draft agreement which the presidents are looking at currently, a draft agreement that is shallow, that is hollow, that doesn’t describe or deal with the root causes of the crisis, the multiple crises that the world is confronted with right now." - Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria.
This is an excerpt from an interview with Democracy Now! at the Rio+ 20 summit in Brazil.
A Minister threatens to evict 2,000 as big-wigs scramble for public land in oil region
Somewhere in Hoima district the small sub county of Kyangwali is home to one of the Albertine’s biggest oil fields — Kingfisher - said to be one of the largest oil wells in the basin with over 300 million barrels of oil. Unfortunately Kyangwali is also the site of growing land disputes, with powerful politicians and military officials scrambling to take possession of huge tracts of public land and evicting locals.
Ugandans are excitedly awaiting the start of drilling by Tullow Oil of the UK and other multi-nationals. But analysts are concerned about the environmental impact of the move and its effect on local communities. Tullow Oil has said the deal was “standard” and that company practices would ensure environmental protection. But the pressure group Platform last year said Tullow had framed a deal with no provisions for the potential environmental or social fallout from oil extraction
In September 2007, the UPDF allegedly opened fire on a Congolese ferry. But the army denies the allegation.
Five years since the killing of six Congolese, including a three-year-old child on Lake Albert, new information published today shows Heritage Oil and Gas, a company which was once the biggest operator in Uganda’s fledgling oil sector, played a key role in triggering the fatal UPDF operation which led to their deaths.
The brewing war between Sudan and the fledgling state of South Sudan is a battle for oil and there are other potential conflicts in the Middle East and Africa that could signal supply disruption whatever happens in the U.S.-Iran face-off in the Persian Gulf.
Libya, one of North Africa's main producers, seems to heading for a new civil war only six months after Moammar Gadhafi's regime was overthrown with rival militias struggling for control of the country's oil riches.