A court in France has dismissed a case in which Total Energies had been sued to stop the construction of the East African crude oil pipeline.(EACOP)
The ruling by the Paris civil court was made on a technicality that the six Ugandan and French groups did not follow proper court procedures.
The lawsuit was filed by non-government organisations accusing Total Energies of seizing land from more than 100,000 people without sufficient compensation and drilling in a natural park with endangered species.
“The six Ugandan and French groups seek an emergency suspension of TotalEnergies’ East Africa projects until financial compensation has been paid to those they say have been harmed as a result of those plans.”
The campaigners also wanted the company to re-write its vigilance plan to account for specific environmental risks to water, endangered species and climate linked to its operations in Uganda and Tanzania.
“The ruling of the French court has really taken away the hope that, the thousands of people displaced now cannot get justice and the suffering continues because this cause was meant to help this country.”The Chief Executive officer for the African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) Dickens Kamugisha told our publication.
He said that the people survive on nature and if oil activities are allowed and they destroy our survival, there shall indeed be climate chaos.
“TotalEnergies cannot celebrate because the court has not made a determination as to whether Total is abusing human rights or not, so we are yet to sit down and come up with our next strategy three days from now and there are many things that we are doing to empower communities to fight for their rights, ensure that people get justice and the efforts to stop the dangers of oil activities to climate change, the rivers and national parks will continue so Total should not celebrate,” he added.
Members of the StopEACOP Alliance have written to each of the insurance companies working on the EACOP project urging them to publicly rule out supporting EACOP in any way.
This week the human rights and climate activists in East Africa and around the world have been protesting against the East African Crude Oil Pipeline demanding that insurance companies should rule out their support to EACOP, particularising that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline threatens the communities’ land, water, climate and the rights in Uganda and Tanzania.
What you need to know
History recorded the existence of oil in the Lake Albert basin in 2006 however today, with the
exploration phase already done by the France Company Total Energies which holds the largest oil portion in Uganda's energy sector followed by Uganda with 15%, Tanzania 15% and the fourth and last company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) with 8% of the oil. Part of the oil is said to be refined in Uganda and more transported to the international market through the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
During a telephone interview with the Executive Director, African Initiative on Food security and Environment (AIFE) Mr. Atuhaire Brian said,
“Uganda is already suffering because of the EACOP project, people were told not to build on the land, cannot plant coffee or banana on their indigenous land resulting into a lot of hunger and economic devastation to the poor.”
“EACOP is encouraging colonialism because the companies that are to drill the oil are not our companies, they are colonial companies and EACOP itself is not registered in Uganda, it is an American registered company” Atuhaire said
“when you look at the percentage of the holding of the pipeline, it is foreign and I can tell you that that is similarly colonialism and this reminds us of the times when the Uganda railway was built to take away copper and tobacco, Ugandans never gained anything from their produce” he added.
This is a call from the noble people to Total Energies and its affiliated partners to clean up any pending demands of the local people.
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