The Federal Government on Tuesday pledged additional donation of five million dollars to support the Africa-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) and the Malian Defence and Security Forces (MDSF).
This is in addition to several other contributions already made by Nigeria to ensure peace and stability in Mali.
President Goodluck Jonathan announced the donation while addressing the Donors’ Conference on Mali in Addis Ababa.
The president said Nigeria had deployed 900 combat soldiers and 300 Air Force personnel for immediate deployment to the mission.
He added that Nigeria had also provided about 32 million dollars and logistic support to AFISMA.
“Prior to this, Nigeria had dispatched relief and humanitarian supplies amounting to two million dollars.
“Nigeria had also undertaken the re-construction and refurbishment of a number of clinics in the military barracks of some of the MDSF, as part of the Security Sector Reform intervention to the tune of 5.5 million dollars.”
Jonathan said that Nigeria fully associated itself with the joint initiative being undertaken by the ECOWAS, AU, EU and the UN aimed at mobilising support to ensure that peace returned to Mali.
He said Nigeria had pursued the ECOWAS two-pronged strategy of dialogue and military action endorsed by the AU and the UN through resolution 2085 adopted by Security Council on Dec. 20, 2012.
“I visited Mali in my capacity as co-mediator on Oct. 19, 2012 to urge national consultations and dialogue in Bamako with a view to promoting a united political front on the basis of the ECOWAS roadmap for the resolution of the crisis in Mali.”
Jonathan commended France for responding in a proactive manner to the request by the Malian authorities to halt the southward advance of the terrorists and criminal armed gang in Northern Mali.
He urged the security council to adopt another resolution, to reflect the unfolding situation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that South Africa pledged a donation of 10 million dollars, Ethiopia and Morocco pleaged 5 million dollars each, while Ghana gave 3 million dollars.
Benin Republic and Cote D’ivoire donated two million dollars each while Gambia donated one million dollars.
Other individual country donations came from Japan with 120 million dollars, U.S. 96 million dollars; Canada, 13 million dollars; Bahrain, 10 million dollars; Luxembourg, 5.5 million dollars and China, one million dollars.
France had committed 40 million Euros to the UN/AU Trust Fund while the AU/ECOWAS contributed 50 million dollars through AU/ECOWAS Trust Fund while the EU donated 50 million pounds.
Niger Delta Farmers Vs. Shell Oil: Dutch Court Largely Rejects Nigerians’ Case Against Shell
A Dutch court has largely dismissed a bid by Nigerian farmers to hold oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell responsible for pollution in their villages in the Niger Delta.
The court in The Hague said only the company’s subsidiary, Nigerian Shell, will have to pay damages because it did not adequately protect against sabotage in one case. It rejected all claims against the parent company, saying that under Nigerian law, Shell was not responsible unless it operated with negligence.
The farmers first brought the case in 2008 along with the environmental group Friends of the Earth, seeking to force Shell to clean up the pollution from oil spills that devastated vegetation, water supplies and fishing ponds.
But Shell said it was doing all it could to contain the impact of its operations, and that the spills are largely the work of sabotage by armed gangs who hack into pipelines.
Activists had seen the case as a test of whether international companies can be held liable for alleged offenses by their foreign subsidiaries.
The farmers are from the Ogoniland region of southern Nigeria, which for decades has been a major source of crude oil. Shell is the top multinational company operating in the area.
In 2011, the United Nations published a report blaming the Nigerian government and multinational companies — especially Shell — for devastating environmental impacts in the Niger Delta. It said cleaning up the area would take $1 billion and 25 years.