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25 Okt 2019

AFP & The East African

NGOs file lawsuit against Total in France over Uganda oil project, includes company comments

"NGOs file suit against Total over Uganda oil project", 24 October 2019.

Six NGOs said Wednesday that they had filed a lawsuit against the French energy giant Total over an oil field project in Uganda, accusing it of failing to avert "disastrous impacts" for local residents and biodiversity...The French law was passed in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013, when more than a thousand people were killed in the collapse of poorly maintained building housing garment companies working for Western brands...

Total plans to drill 419 wells near Lake Albert in western Uganda for the Tilenga project...Many of the wells will be in the Murchison Falls national park, and already many communities have been displaced from their lands..."Many communities survive on rearing animals, growing food, and these areas are where we have most of our national parks... the activities of Total have been really in conflict and in violation of most of those activities," added Dickens Kamugisha, head of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance based in Kampala. "We believe that the justice system in France is much more strong and independent" than Ugandan courts, he said...

Asked for comment on the lawsuit, a Total spokesman referred to a company statement from September saying the Tilenga impact studies "were carried out with respect to national and international standards." It acknowledged that 622 people had been displaced in a first phase, but said all received either land or money as compensation...

Part of the following timelines

6 NGOs file lawsuit against Total over alleged failure to respect French Duty of Vigilance law in its operations in Uganda

Total lawsuit (re failure to respect French duty of vigilance law in operations in Uganda)