Shell set to return to troubled Ogoniland

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Lagos - Shell Nigeria officials yesterday said that restoring oil facilities in the troubled Ogoni area of Nigeria would cost around $50m (pounds 32m), but Shell would go ahead if agreement on the company's return could be reached with the local communities.

The cost, including the unknown element of cleaning up the environment, would not be an issue if Rivers State government and the Ogoni communities could settle their differences and agree on a common future, said one official. Shell ceased operations in Ogoniland in 1993 after a campaign for environmental compensation by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni Peoples (Mosop). Mosop's leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight activists were hanged last November for the murder of four Ogoni chiefs. The hangings caused an international outcry. Reuter