Yahoo! Business News: Shell subcontractor kidnapped in Nigeria: "...he also criticised Shell, saying that the firm had stirred local resentment by failing to honour two agreements it had signed to provide community investment during the opening of the huge oil field" (ShellNews.net) 28 Dec 04
LAGOS (AFX) - Nigerian pirates kidnapped a Croatian oil worker while he was being transported to an oil facility run by a Shell subcontractor in the Niger Delta region, said Royal/Dutch Shell Group spokesman Harriman Oyofo.
Fifteen Nigerian workers were also captured in Saturday's raid on the vessel operated by Seabulk, a US subcontractor to Shell, but were later released, said Oyofo. 'The 'Yugoslav' is still being held,' he said.
'The sea pirates kidnapped the workers of Seabulk on Saturday at Ekeremor in Bayelsa State, but they later released 15 of them,' Oyofo said.
'The Bayelsa state government is looking into the matter with a view to securing the release of the Yugoslav,' Oyofo added.
Bayelsa state spokesman Oronto Douglas identified the hostage as Ivan Roso, a Croatian national working for Seabulk, a subcontractor to the Dutch shipping giant Maersk, which in turn is a supplier to Shell's operation in the region.
Senior state officials have visited the scene of the attack and confirmed that Roso is being held by the 'Iduwini Youths', a militant faction of an ethnic Ijaw clan living on the border between Bayelsa and Delta State, he said.
Bayelsa's Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha has ordered the group to release Roso 'immediately and without condition' and to meet with the traditional elders in their Amatu community to discuss their actions, Douglas (Xetra: 609900.DE - news) said.
But he also criticised Shell, saying that the firm had stirred local resentment by failing to honour two agreements it had signed to provide community investment during the opening of the huge oil field, identified by the letters EA.
'The decision not to meet and fulfil the 2001 and 2002 EA MOUs (memoranda of understanding) is one of the unfortunate triggers being used by these hostage takers,' Douglas explained.
Ekeremor lies in dense jungle and mangrove swamp in the north of Bayelsa State just south of the Bomadi Creek, one of the main waterways linking the Niger River to the Atlantic Ocean through its vast delta.
Oyofo would not comment on the detail of the kidnapper's demands, but said Shell 'does not sign MOUs (memoranda of understanding) with criminals'.