Pambazuka News 504: Biopiracy, biodiversity and food sovereignty

Fifteen years ago Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists who led protests against Shell Oil company were hanged by the Nigerian government after a sham trial on trumped up charges. Justice in Nigeria Now remembers Ken Saro Wiwa and his colleagues, noting new revelations about Shell’s PR strategy after the deaths of the Ogoni activists.

Oil has not even started flowing but, already, it is causing conflict in Bunyoro, western Uganda where land disputes have erupted. The two billion barrels of oil discovered in the Lake Albert area have drawn speculators hoping to cash in on rising land values in the area and sparked conflicts in many villages, particularly in the district of Buliisa.

The visible aftermath of violence is easy to see at the tent camp of Gdaim Izik and the Western Sahara city of Laâyoune, still reeling from two days of deadly clashes with Moroccan troops, less clear is a death toll or the actual circumstances surrounding the military action. The crisis began early Monday (November 8th), when Moroccan forces intervened to disperse a tent camp near Laâyoune set up three weeks ago to protest against Morocco's social policy in Western Sahara.

The turn of al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to new sources of financing, including kidnapping foreigners, extorting smugglers, and dealing in drugs is raising alarm among security agencies of the greater Maghreb. The countries of the region have officially committed themselves to co-ordinating their efforts to tackle the al-Qaeda threat in the region. Algeria, Mauritania, Niger and Mali have already set up a joint military headquarters in Tamanrasset, in southern Algeria and a joint more

Tunisia is becoming the number one medical haven for its Algerian and Libyan neighbours. The Health Ministry reported that Tunisian health institutions received more than 140,000 Libyan and Algerian patients last year. 'In Libya, we suffer from the bad treatment of medical professionals and from their indifference to the health problems that worry us,' frequent visitor of Tunisian clinics Bouajila Fakhri told Magharebia.