A Nigerian court has ordered oil giant Shell's local operation to pay $1.5bn to the Ijaw people of the Delta region.
The Ijaw have been fighting since 2000 for compensation for environmental degradation in the oil-rich region.
They took the case to court after Shell refused to make the payment ordered by Nigeria's parliament.
Ijaw militants have staged a spate of attacks against Shell facilities recently and are holding seven foreign oil workers hostage.
Following the violence, Shell - the biggest oil producer in Nigeria - has halved its output from the country.
Shell says it believes there is no evidence to support the claim, and will appeal against the ruling.
A statement said: "We remain committed to dialogue with the Ijaw people."
Friday, February 24, 2006