Demonstration on 21 March 1994, involving the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS), at Local Government Headquarters, protesting the bulldozing of farmland by Wilbros Company (a Shell pipeline contractor) near the village of Kegbare Dere in Gokana [NGA30754.E]

Although protests against Shell took place in the Ogoni region in 1993 and 1994, no specific mention of a demonstration on 21 March 1994, involving the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS), at Local Government Headquarters, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

There are, however, reports of a protest in April 1993 in the village of Biara against the bulldozing of farmland by Wilbros Company (HRW July 1995, 10; Catma Films 23 May 1994; AI 19 May 1993). The justices in the Ogoni 9 trial that involved Ken Saro-Wiwa referred to "what may be termed WILBROS riots of April, 1993" in the Gokana area (Ogoni 9 31 Oct. 1995). HRW reported that the Wilbros Company began bulldozing crops on 28 April 1993 (July 1995, 10) resulting in a "mass" demonstration on 30 April (ibid.; AI 19 May 1993). Security forces were called in and fired on the demonstrators resulting in one death and eleven people injured (ibid.; HRW July 1995, 10). A Mrs. Karaklolo Korbara was one of those shot and her injury resulted in her arm being amputated (Catma Films 23 May 1994; Wiwa Oct. 1997). Amnesty International reported on 19 May 1993 that:

Security forces then detained six people and took them to the Second Amphibious Brigade camp. Among the six, three apparently escaped while two who were injured during the shooting, were transferred to a hospital in Port Harcourt. One of the six, a 32-year-old man, is reported to be still detained, without charge or trial, and apparently unlwafully, at Bori military camp.

During a 23 December 1998 telephone interview, the author of Ogoni: The Struggle Continues written for the World Council of Churches, and now the Executive Director of International Possibilities Unlimited, said that there was "just one incident to the best of my knowledge" involving the Ogoni community reacting to the Wilbros Company bulldozing farmland and this incident occurred in 1993. In a 23 December 1998 telephone interview, the Human Rights Coordinator of the Africa Fund supported this supposition that there was only one incident involving the Wilbros Company and Ogoni demonstrators and that it occurred in 1993. He said that he was aware that a demonstrator was killed and that the woman whose land was bulldozed had to have her arm amputated after being shot by security forces. He said that the incident had been well-documented and that it was mentioned in the documentary film The Drilling Fields, which depicted the Ogoni people's complaints of environmental degradation and government repression. However, he said that it was possible that another incident could have occurred since Wilbros Company was a contractor of Shell and it was during this time that the Ogoni people were escalating their protests at Shell's presence in the area.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


The Africa Fund, New York. 23 December 1998. Telephone interview with the Human Rights Coordinator.

Amnesty International (AI). 19 May 1993. Urgent Action: Nigeria: Possible Extrajudicial Execution/Legal Concern. (AI Index: AFR 44/04/93). London: Amnesty International.

Catma Films. [23 May 1994]. "The Drilling Fields." Script of documentary film. [Internet] [Accessed 24 dec. 1998]

Human Rights Watch (HRW)/Africa. July 1995. Nigeria: The Ogoni Crisis: A Case-Study of Military Repression in Southeastern Nigeria. New York: Human Rights Watch/Africa.

International Possibilities Unlimited. 23 December 1998. Telephone interview with the Executive Director.

The Ogoni 9 Judgment. 31 October 1995. Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Transcript of Decision. [Internet] [Accessed 22 dec. 1998]

Wiwa, Diana. October 1997. The Role of Women in the Struggle for Environmental Justice in Ogoni. Leicaster, UK: Federation of Ogoni Women's Organisations (FOWA). [Internet] [Accessed 22 Dec. 1998]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential. [London]. 1993-1994.

Africa Events [London]. 1993-1994.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. 1993-1994.

Africa South of the Sahara 1996. 1995.

Angel, William D. 1990. Youth Movements of the World.

The Europa World Year Book 1993-1994. 1993-1994.

Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights & Civil Liberties 1992-95. 1993-1995.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1991 -1994.

Political Handbook of the World 1994-1998. 1994-1998.

Resource Centre. Nigeria: Amnesty International country file. 1991-1994.

West Africa [London]. November 1992 - January 1993, May - June 1993, May-July 1994.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).