, 2000

Latest news from America's Progressive Community

Search | Sign Up | Privacy
  NewsCenter > NewsWire > For Immediate Release     


JUNE 8, 1998
12:08 PM
CONTACT:  Rainforest Action Network
Abacha's Death Is An Opportunity To Bolster Environment And Human Rights In Nigeria: No Tears For Dictator Who Valued Oil More Than The Blood Of His Citizens
"With the death of General Abacha we can only hope that a new government will listen to the voice of the Nigeria's citizens, rather than to large transnational oil companies. A popularly elected government, such as the one Abacha preempted, needs to be instated; and oil companies, especially Royal Dutch/Shell, which have profitted handsomly from close ties to the military, must not interfere with the democratic process."
-- Shannon Wright, Oil Campaign Director.

SAN FRANCISCO -- June 8 -- Human Rights and Environmental activists are showing few signs of grief today with the news of General Sani Abacha's death. The Nigerian dictator, who came to power in a 1993 coup, faced world-wide condemnation for his hard-line regime, and for his role in the execution of nine environmental activists in 1995.

In one of the most oppressive acts the world has seen in recent memory - under Abacha in 1995 - Ogoni leader Ken Saro Wiwa, a human rights activist, poet, playwright and Goldman Environmental Prize Winner, and eight fellow activists were executed for demanding that the Ogoni people's human and environmental rights be respected by the oil industry and the government. That year, the multinational Oil giants of Shell, Mobile, Chevron and Texaco contributed 80% of Nigeria's annual revenue.

Due to heavy oil and gas exploration in the years before 1995, Nigeria's beleaguered coastal wetlands are quickly being destroyed. According to a 1995 UN conference on Environmental and Development the Niger River's mouth is the most endangered river delta in the world. The Niger Delta is home to coastal rainforest and mangrove habitats.


Rainforest Action Network works to protect the Earth's rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action


Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
E-mail us your news release!

Tell Us What You Think:

Copyrighted 1997-2000 All Rights Reserved. Common Dreams.