Vous êtes ici : Accueil » Afrique centrale » Ouganda » Crackdown on Pipeline Protesters in Uganda

Crackdown on Pipeline Protesters in Uganda

D 9 novembre 2023     H 06:00     A Human Rights Watch     C 0 messages

Environmental defenders and anti-fossil fuel activists in Uganda have been raising concerns over a planned oil pipeline in East Africa.

Authorities are responding with harassment, threats, and unjustified arrests.

The planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is one of the most significant fossil fuel infrastructure projects under development globally, and one of the most controversial fossil fuel projects in the world. It will include hundreds of wells, hundreds of kilometers of roads, camps and other infrastructure – and a pipeline stretching 1,443 kilometers.

Of course, just from the perspective of the climate crisis alone, any such project is a bad idea. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading authority on climate science, and others have warned against any new fossil fuel projects if the world is to reach Paris Agreement goals and limit the worst impacts of climate change.

Activists in Uganda have been drawing attention not only to these global concerns but also to local ones. More than 100,000 people in Uganda and Tanzania will lose their land for the oil developments.

But those who protest both the construction of the pipeline and the treatment of people caught up in its path, have faced the wrath of those in power. Ugandan authorities have routinely detained and arrested activists and human rights defenders on politically-motivated charges.

This harassment is not just wrong in itself - there are other impacts too. Activists says the constant threats from local government and security officials make it more difficult to provide support to those who have lost land.

The French fossil-fuel giant TotalEnergies is the operator and majority shareholder of the project, alongside China National Offshore Oil Company, and the state-run Ugandan and Tanzanian oil companies. However, financing for the pipeline is apparently yet to be finalized.

Given the grave environmental and human rights risks in the pipeline’s construction and operation, financial institutions and insurance companies should avoid supporting it.