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27 Jun 2023

France: Communities and NGOs use duty of vigilance law to sue TotalEnergies over alleged human rights abuses over giant oil project in Uganda

In June 2023, 26 members of communities affected by the Tilenga and East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) projects in Uganda, human rights defender Maxwell Atuhura and five French and Ugandan CSOs (AFIEGO, Friends of the Earth France, NAPE/Friends of the Earth Uganda, Survie and TASHA Research Institute) filed a lawsuit against TotalEnergies. The first lawsuit filed in 2019 was dismissed in February.

Making use of the French duty of vigilance law, the claimants argue that TotalEnergies fails to protect people and the environment from adverse impacts resulting from the construction of its oil project. They seek reparations for harm which has already occurred, such as violation of property rights concerning the land on which the pipeline will be built, food shortages as well as damaged houses from flooding caused by the construction of oil processing facilities.

TotalEnergies states that its vigilance plan is implemented effectively and that the rights of the local communities and biodiversity have been respected.