Uganda: NGOs Drag TotalEnergies to Court

A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Uganda has launched legal action against TotalEnergies for alleged damage caused by its controversial oil mega projects in the country.

Development Diaries reports that the NGOs, which include Friends of the Earth Uganda, the African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), Survive, and TASHA Research Institute, filed the lawsuit in France.

It is understood that the accusers seek compensation over the Tilenga and East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) projects.

The EACOP is a 1,500-kilometre heated pipeline to the Tanzanian coast, crossing several protected natural areas.

According to the NGOs and other Ugandan plaintiffs, the company’s projects have caused numerous human rights violations.

More than 118,000 people in Uganda and Tanzania have been affected by total or partial expropriation as a result of the projects.

‘This time it is an action for compensation because the human rights violations caused by its Tilenga and EACOP projects, which the first legal action launched in 2019 (in France) aimed to prevent, have now been released due to the lack of a rapid judicial decision on the heart of the matter’, they said.

‘It is unacceptable that foreign oil companies continue to make super-profits while the communities affected by their projects in Uganda are harassed, displaced, poorly compensated and living in abject poverty on their own land’.

Communities have been deprived of the free use of their land for more than three or four years, the statement added. This has led to the ‘deprivation of their means of subsistence, and therefore to situations of serious food shortages’ in some families.

The legal action comes almost a week after the Paris ‘Summit for a New Global Financing Pact’, during which African leaders underlined how Western countries failed to respect financial commitments for climate change.

Photo source: Justice Hunter


About the Author