By 2025, Uganda will exit its oil from the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) as planned. Those were the comments of President Yoweri Museveni, who reiterated his intention to complete the project.
His reaction on Friday followed a European Union Parliament decision urging the international community to “exercise maximum pressure on the Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as project promoters and stakeholders” to halt oil activities around Lake Albert.
Uganda’s recoverable oil reserves are estimated at at least 1.4 billion barrels. In February, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and TotalEnergies said the total investment would be more than $10 billion. They have partnered with the Uganda National Oil Corporation, and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation.
The National Assembly issued a statement affirming Uganda’s sovereignty and condemning the EU Parliament’s decision. “The decision is based on misinformation and willful misrepresentation of basic facts related to the environment and the protection of human rights. It represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania,” said Assembly Vice President Thomas Tiboa. .
Kampala says the oil wealth can make millions. When environmental NGOs such as Friends of the Earth assessed that more than 100,000 people would lose land to make way for the project.
Compensation was also a problem. If Ugandan civil society had already declared that the compensation disclosed was not fair, the EU’s decision was doubled. The EU Parliament said that some landowners “destroyed their homes to facilitate the construction of access roads or a treatment plant, while others appropriated all or part of their land and lost the free use of their property and thus their means of subsistence, without having paid fair and adequate compensation in advance; while the compensation paid often It is too low to allow the farmers whose land was confiscated to buy similar land to continue farming on it […]”.
They also called on the authorities to “prompt, just and adequate compensation, as provided in the Ugandan constitution and as promised to the companies”, “those who have been evicted or denied access to their lands” and “people [who] Lost property and land.
The text also expressed its “grave concern about human rights violations in Uganda and Tanzania linked to investments in fossil fuel projects, including unlawful imprisonment of human rights defenders, arbitrary suspension of NGOs, and arbitrary prison sentences.”
Museveni said Total Energy assured him that the pipeline – which will connect the oil fields in western Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean – will continue. But he warned on Twitter that “if the French energy group chooses to listen to the EU Parliament, Uganda will find another partner”.