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Shell Ordered to Compensate Nigerian Village it Drenched in Oil

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to pay around $111.6m to communities in southern Nigeria over crude oil spills in 1970, lawyers involved in the case have said. The decision is the latest involving Opec-member Nigeria’s oil-producing south where communities have long fought legal battles over oil spills and environmental damage. “They ran out of tricks and decided to come to terms,” the lawyer said. “The decision is a vindication of the resoluteness of the community for justice.” The company said it maintained the spills were caused by third parties during Nigeria’s 1967-70 civil war when much damage was done to oil pipelines and infrastructure. “It is a confirmation of the issues we have raised about Shell’s environmental devastation of Ogoni and the need for a proper remediation of the land,” the MOSOP organisation for the local Ogoni people said in response. The court ordered Shell to compensate three out of four farmers who lodged the case in 2008. The case has dragged on so long that two of the Nigerian farmers have died since it was first filed.