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        • DRAFT STATEMENT, Oil companies jeopardize peace process in Sudan

DRAFT STATEMENT, Oil companies jeopardize peace process in Sudan

European Coalition on Oil in Sudan


April 2003




Oil companies jeopardize peace process in Sudan.


Last week, Lundin Petroleum AB, together with its partners OMV (Sudan) Exploration Gmbh, Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn Bhd and Sudapet (the “Consortium”) resumed activities in southern Sudan, 14 month after these were suspended because of military offensives. Earlier, members of the Consortium have repeatedly stated that they would not resume operations in Sudan until there was a comprehensive and sustainable peace.


Sudan has been at war for most of the past 50 years. 2 Million people have died, and 4 million have been displaced in Africa’s oldest war. Last year, the Machakos peace process was started. considerable progress has been made, but an agreement has yet to be reached. Meanwhile, the situation in many parts of the country remains volatile. Despite the 15 October 2002 Memorandum of Understanding on Cessation of Hostilities, last January saw a renewed Government military offensive to secure the extension of the road to the oil sites in Western Upper Nile. As a result, according to the international Civil Protection Monitoring Team, “… along the Bentiu-Adok main road, most villages are now empty or destroyed altogether”. The work on the road is financed by the Consortium. Despite the 4 February 2003 Addendum to the MuO on Cessation of Hostilities, there is currently fighting aroung the village of Tam. Nevertheless, members of the Consortium state that “Positive developments in the peace process in Sudan have resulted in the return to a peaceful environment in the concession area.”


The European Coalition on Oil in Sudan recently presented Lundin and OMV with a set of verifiable benchmarks that would provide content to their official principle “To support and respect protection of international human rights …”, “To make sure we are not complicit in human rights abuses.” (OMV) and “To uphold generally accepted principles on the protection of human rights”. These benchmarks include


an agreement between all armed sides to secure the safety people in OMVs concession area


guarantees that the company´s security is not provided by forces that have a record of gross human rights violations


assurance of compensation and voluntary resettlement of the people who were forcibly displaced from around the oil road.

The members of the Consortium have not adopted any of these benchmarks. ECOS is convinced that certain members of the Consortium would prefer to promote respect for human rights, but they are contractually bound to operate as long as its own security is guaranteed. The companies cannot and do not protect the rights and safety of the communities in their environment. The claim that the situation is normalising is self serving and fails to justify the resumption of activities.


Peace requires all stakeholders to refrain from actions that could increase tensions. The resumption of activities by the Consortium

- undermines the process of confidence building between the sides to the conflict

- contravenes the spirit of the the 4 February 2003 Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding on Cessation of Hostilities

- risks to provoke violations of the cease fire agreement

- undermines the belief in parts of Sudanese society, that only peace can bring a better life.


Oil offers Sudan a unique opportunity to escape from poverty. The current dynamic of the oil development in Sudan poses a danger to the peace process. It can only be pursued through force unless a peace agreement has been reached. Without peace, oil exploitation in Southern Sudan excerbates war.