Oil Companies Caused Sudanese Civil War

A new report has been released detailing the role of the oil industry in the Sudanese civil war. The European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (or ECOS for short) released a document entitled, “Unpaid debt: The legacy of Lundin, Petronas and OMV in Sudan, 1997-2003”. These oil companies were complicit in crimes against humanity.

ECOS says that the Khartoum government gave permission for the Lundin Consortium to engage in exploitation of oil on the border of North and South Sudan in 1997. This area of the country was called Block 5A and it was not controlled by the government. The paper says this exploitation is what caused a series of violent events as loyal forces battled to take the oilfields back for Lundin Consortium profit making.

Detailed were the six years after the event in which the civilian population was massacred. They were hit with indiscriminate attacks, rape, abduction, torture, pillage and destruction of homes. The means used by the Sudanese government to hold the oil fields were unnecessary and killed 12,000 people while violently displacing 200,000 others.

The Swedish public prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation into Lundin Petroleum’s actions and a formal investigation into the actions of Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, who was working for them at the time.

The vice president for legal affairs of Lundin Petroleum, Jeffrey Fountain, has released a statement denying “all the allegations and inferences of wrongdoing attributed to Lundin Petroleum”.

The fact that an oil company would place profits ahead of national stability should not surprise anyone. The drive for oil profits causing war is not a new phenomenon and has repeated itself many times since these events. The only way to end this blood for oil is to nationalize all oil production and place it under the democratic control of the working class for the benefit of the people.

Link to Report: 

http://www.ecosonline.org/reports/2010/UNPAID_DEBT_fullreportweb.pdf

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