Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Niger Delta

People Power vs Big Oil spills: Can African masses win?

Experts say that every year, Big Oil spills as much crude into the Niger Delta as the size of an Exxon Valdez catastrophe, but as it is Africa, it gets little media play…

Finally, Big Oil is having to pay for the wasteland and violence that they’ve created. 

President Jonathan of Nigeria supports the Shell fine, $5 billion fine against giant oil polluter Shell for a spill that devastated the lives of millions of people, and pass a law to hold all oil companies to account for polluting and plundering.and progressive Senators are pushing for strong regulations, but oil companies are slick, and without huge international support MPs could buckle under the pressure.

Pascal V. of  Avaaz.org posted on Nov. 6, 2012:

Sign the petition

This is a watershed moment, but unless we all speak out, oil giants will crush it.

After a leak occurred at Shell’s Bonga oil facility last December, millions of gallons poured into the ocean and washed up on the densely populated coast — resulting in one of the largest African oil spills ever. The fine and bill on the table are a once in a lifetime chance to stand up to Big Oil.

Oil companies have made $600 billion in the last 50 years in Nigeria, but locals don’t see the benefits. Their land, drinking water and fishing grounds are ruined.

And Shell has spent hundreds of millions of dollars a year on security forces, repressing protest against its harmful practices.

The oil industry is crucial to the economy, but companies have never been held to account for the devastation of drilling.

Now, the Nigerian President and a few brave MPs are speaking out and they could finally slam the oil giants with tough fines and give fair pay outs to the victims. If we show MPs that the world supports these crucial steps, we can literally change the lives of millions.

Politicians are deciding their positions right now, when we hit a million signers we’ll bring our unprecedented global call to the steps of Nigeria’s Parliament:

Click here http://www.avaaz.org/en/make_shell_pay_b/?bFAfecb&v=19096

Avaazers have stood up to Big Oil all over the world, from Chevron in Ecuador, to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to ending fossil fuel subsidies at the Rio Summit. Now let’s do it for Nigeria too.

Make sure the politicians send a message to Big Oil: your days of impunity are over.

With hope and determination,

Pascal, Patricia, Alex, Ricken, David, Rewan, and the Avaaz team

Shell Faces $5 Billion Nigeria Fine (Wall Street Journal)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303933704577532723563488122.html

Shell urged to pay Nigeria $5bn over Bonga oil spill (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18875731

Shell’s grip on Nigerian state revealed (The Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-cables-shell-nigeria-spying

U.N. slams Shell as Nigeria needs biggest ever oil clean-up (Reuters)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/04/us-nigeria-ogoniland-idUSTRE7734MQ20110804

Nigeria: Oil spill investigations ‘a fiasco’ in the Niger Delta (Amnesty International)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nigeria-oil-spill-investigations-fiasco-niger-delta-2012-08-02

Origin of languages? Has Mankind stopped migrating?

Apparently, the main factor that discriminates mankind (the latest Homo Sapiens) from the other mammalian species, particularly the chimps-kind, is the capacity to communicate in grammatical structure, starting with the verbal structure 50,000 years ago.

There exist in nature sophisticated communication systems among the animal species, and they are highly efficient, and making sense associated with signals…Among them all species, mankind was the only one making complete sentences.  This evidence is an either we can communicate in grammatical structure or we cannot. “If you are unable to learn grammar, you stay a chimp…”

Grammatical structures do not means learning how the linguist want you to express yourself according to specific rules in a particular language, but the capacity of expressing yourself using words that the community use, in full sentences, and making sense to the community. There is structure in every dialect within the larger family group language.

Language requires a specialized part of the brain.  It is turning out that this specialized part shares the capacity to adapt to extreme environmental conditions.

Most animals survive within particular environments, give or take mild changes in the climate and the vegetation…but mankind survived and settled in extreme regions and thrived…

The American scientist Luca Cavalli Sforza discovered high correlations between languages and the genes of the speakers. Developing a new dialect might take no more than two centuries, but genes diversity need a couple of thousand of years.  Two genetically close populations have the same family group language, where the vocabulary are similar…

Although we are descendant of chimps, a couple million years ago, the chimp can learn (recognize) more than 900 words, but was unable to construct a sentence from the words they acquired…

It is currently admitted that mankind (the latest Homo Sapiens) had a single original language (about 50,000 years ago) and that the current 12 large family languages resulted from periodic mass migration to other regions. Every large wave of migration within or toward another of the 5 continents generated a new group of a basic language and were diversified by local dialect. This presuppose that the people settled the region for many thousands of years.

For example, linguists categorized 4 family group languages in Africa:

1. The Khoisan in the south of Africa

2. The Niger-Kordofan region in the west and central Africa

3. The Nilo-Saharan region that includes Arabic, ancient Egyptian, Berber, Hebrew…

4. The East of Africa group language starting from the Niger Delta (in current Nigeria) and expanding eastward

And how the linguists agreed on these classifications?

1. They use key words such as water, sky, I, you…and what are considered “fossil words”

2. A new-born baby has the potential to learn any language: He will acquire the language of his adoptive community, regardless of the sounds and the complex structure… (Chomsky)

3. There exist common grammatical structures in all languages and the brain of mankind is able to capture any structure at birth, and invent new structures…

And guess what:

1. Homo Sapiens, 100,000 years ago, was barely 30,000. And they were saved from extinction several times. The necessity to split into smaller groups saved them from sweeping epidemics and natural calamities…

 

2. Homo Sapiens migrated to China 65,000 ago, and reached Indonesia and Australia…He migrated to Europe 50,000 years ago, and to North Americas 20,000 years ago. Mind you that during the glacial periods, seas and oceans had receded and mankind and animals could travel walking among many continents …

 

3. The original Homo Sapiens settled the Near East (Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt) and from this region migrated and “colonized” the world and later, exported the urban civilization as they planted and harvested the lands 10,000 years ago (the Neolithic age)…

Go figure: from 30,000 to 7 billion of mankind within less than 12,000 years

 

 

Western Africa, Rep. of Mali, Azawat, South Sahara Al Qaeda…What’s going on?

What of the Niger River? Looking at the map of western Africa (former French colonial region and still under French economic dominion), the Niger River starts on the borders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and progress northward, crosses Bamako (capital of rep. of Mali), Segou, Tombouctou, Gao, and slant down toward Menaka (splitting  Mali in half).

And the river resumes its descent to the State of Niger, all the way to Nigeria and flows into the Delta in Nigeria (the Niger Delta, rich in oil production, particularly offshore).

The recent news reveal that the Tuareg independentists, men wearing “blue”, (planning for an independent Azawat State in north Mali) have captured the main towns and cities in north Mali, north of the Niger River, such as Gao, Kidal, Menaka

And that the Tuareg Islamic extremists and others from Mauritania and especially from Algeria (wrapped under the veil of Al Qaeda) have captured the historic city of Tombouctou and starting the process of imposing Islamic Sharia (gone the good time of music, dance and bare women faces…)

Minor officers in the army of Mali grabbed on the excuse of the army failure to confronting the advances of the militias up north by carrying on a military coup d’etat.

No States in Africa was pleased with this sudden coup and the rebellious officers had to bow down and promise to restitute power to the civilians.  The head of the parliament of Mali is to take over as interim President in order to organize the election in its due time by the end of Mai.

Azawat State?  

This desert region would constitute 65% of the area of Mali and populated with only 10% of the total of 14 million citizens.

The Tuareg tribes are estimated to be about 3 million people and criss-crossing a desert the size of Europe, sending caravans from and to Mauritania, Algeria, Libya, Niger, Tchad, and even to Sudan (the Darfur region)

What’s the story?

After the disintegration of Qadhafi Libya, around 400 veteran Tuareg soldiers had to return “Home”, and Algeria was happy to let its radical Islamists cross the border to north Mali (Algeria military was in constant battle with the Algerian Islamists for three decades after they won the election and the military refused to acknowledge the radical Islamists “democratic” victory).

What do you expect soldiers and people carrying arms to do in a desert region that no investments were done in schools, dispensary, hospitals, or any kind of infrastructure…?

The successive central governments of the poor State of Mali in natural resources had invested in the most populous region, the south, and let the vast north goes to hell…

The Tuareg were demanding investment in their region for the last 5 decades, but France failed to contribute any major assistance…

First, the Tuareg started taking hostages, European NGO and tourists, and it was a lucrative and brisk business…

After hell broke loose, the region lacked in tourists and in any financial aid, and conquering power was at hand…

Second, there are no military alternatives in these vast desert region…at most a few drone attacks, just to implicitly tell the rebels that the de-facto on the ground status will not be checked, but negotiations are needed that would satisfy Europe and the US economic future interest in oil and rare mineral exploitation and production.

(The later French military intervention didn’t bring tourists, safety and security. In fact, the new elected President of Mali didn’t dare yet visit the northern parts. And the virulent factions have spread and disseminated eastward toward northern Nigeria (Boko Haram connections), Cameroun, and Central Africa)

Third, most Western Africa Sates have artificial borders drawn by France, Spain and Italy, and the people on the borders come and go at will.

For example, Mali has an 800-kilometre border with Mauritania, and about 1,200 kilometres with Algeria, and as many with Niger...

Time to let minority people live in peace and enjoy their own language and life-style: A few million can go a long way in peace time, for basic necessity of survival…and basic preventive health care…

Note 1: This week, Jan. 12, 2013, France decided to come to the “rescue” of the government and army of Mali as the extremist jihadists advanced and captured a strategic city close to Mobti (key city separating north from south mali).

France is bombing the extremist jihadists and willing to send in 2,500 troops to aid the West African States military contingents.

Fact is, unless serious resources are secured to north Mali and political reforms are done in Mali, all of west Africa is liable to fall to the extremist Moslem jihadists.

Note 2: Take a look at this map of where resources are coming from to help France prosecute its war in north Mali. Is it a WW3 on Moslem Jihadists?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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