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Prosecutor probes Swedish link in Sudan crimes

Sweden's public prosecutor opened a criminal investigation...into allegations that Swedes working for a consortium of oil companies during the Sudanese civil war may have been complicit in human rights abuses...The investigation follows a report...by a group of agencies which accused the consortium...of possible complicity in atrocities committed in Sudan between 1997 and 2003. It has prompted two opposition parties to urge Carl Bildt, currently Sweden's Foreign Minister, to clarify his role on the board of Lundin Oil during that period...The consortium -- made up of Lundin Oil, Malaysian firm Petronas, Austrian energy group OMV and a Sudanese state-owned firm -- signed a deal in 1997 with Sudan's government to exploit oil in disputed areas, ECOS wrote. The start of exploration set off a vicious war as the government sought to take control of oil fields in the area, leading to thousands of deaths and the forced displacement of local populations, ECOS wrote in its report...Ian Lundin, chairman of Lundin Petroleum, dismissed the allegations in an open letter, writing that Lundin Petroleum "has, at all times, been concerned with the interests and respected the rights of the people of Sudan."

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