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Swedish oil company accused of war crimes

TT/Vivian Tse · 8 Jun 2010, 10:56

Published: 08 Jun 2010 10:56 GMT+02:00

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The claims centre around the period between 1997 and 2003 when ten thousand people were killed and nearly 200,000 were forced to flee to southern Sudan.

Sudanese troops, in collaboration with militias, attacked and drove away the civilian population in areas where companies could extract oil, according to a report that some backed by about 50 NGOs in the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan.

One of the authors of the report, Egbert Wesserlink, stresses that Lundin Petroleum did not carry out the suspected abuse. According to him, they instead hired the Sudanese officers.

"Our conclusion is that Lundin contributed to there being war in the area and not to peace and development as they themselves claim," he told Ekot.

In response, Lundin Chairman Ian H. Lundin said in a statement, "There is no new evidence in this report. The report repeats the conclusions, innuendo and false allegations based on partisan and misleading information that was rejected during that time in a document entitled 'Lundin Oil in Sudan, May 2001.'"

Oil companies Petronas and OMV were Lundin's partners in Sudan and the report asserts that companies had earlier received help by Sudanese army and loyalist militias to fight other militias who had tried to stop oil extraction.

"It is not credible when Lundin said that they were unaware of the atrocities and war in the region," said Wesserlink, referring to Lundin Petroleum repudiating the accusations in an email.

Shane Quinn, program officer at the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, told The Local that it is good that this report comes out now, even if it addresses events that ended seven years ago.

"There was an earlier report about them forcibly moving people," Quinn told The Local. "They've always gotten off scot-free and there has been extremely little media coverage, maybe due to the Carl Bildt connection. It has always struck me as strange since Sweden has this big human rights portfolio."

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was on the board of Lundin until 2006.

Shane Quinn added that it was worth investigating the coalition behind the report in terms of their agenda and whether they had a religious lobby.

Story continues below…

The allegations date back to the period after 1997 and when Lundin Oil, a firm that pre-dated Lundin Petroleum and has since been sold to Canadian Talisman, owned rights to drill in the area.

Neither Lundin Oil nor Lundin Petroleum have extracted any oil from Sudan, while they have carried out a number of test drillings, after the signing of a peace agreement in January 2005.

Sudan's civil war first broke out in 1955 and continued until 2005 after an interval of almost nine years from 1972. The conflict, between the Muslim north and Christian south, is reported to have displaced 4 million southerners and claimed a total of 1.1 million lives.

TT/Vivian Tse (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:09 June 8, 2010 by bolababu
Oh please! ..this is stale news, all oil companies do the same like Chevron and Shell in Nigeria, pay the military to execute leaders of resisting communities, drill their oil and pay the media to shut their traps. Ruin their lands in the proccess so they cannot farm or fish and then when they migrate to Europe in search of "greener" pastures, (since their's are not so green anymore) tag them refugees and blame them for all the societal ills here.

Carl Bildt my foot, ..Sweden is as hypocritical as any other western country, ..Carl Bildt didn't even have the guts to accept the call for a boycott of Isreal.
12:12 June 8, 2010 by kokoloco
So Carl Bildt (Mr. Teflon) is a hypocrite when it comes to green power and human rights, he supports the Palestinian cause to gain power from the Swedish Arab voters and for his dodgy businesses with the arabs in Sudan (The Janjaweed ) that kill tens of thousands of black Sudanese Christians each year.
12:41 June 8, 2010 by flintis
Oh No! it must be the Israelis again, can't possibly have anything to do with Islamics, they're such a peace loving bunch who wouldn't dream of carrying out crimes against humanity.
12:50 June 8, 2010 by tgolan
Yes it's time to bojcott sweden!!!!
12:52 June 8, 2010 by Guy with a big whang
@Flintis, 'course not, they are the religion of peace...

and you better agree that they are 'the religion of peace' or they will chop your f****ng head off - film it, and distribute it to others who believe in the 'religion of peace' to show just how peace loving they are!
13:17 June 8, 2010 by eZee.se
Yep! Boycott Sweden, dont buy anything from the grocery stores, dont pay your rent/bills etc, flip Sweden off.


13:23 June 8, 2010 by maakm
these are the real terrorists and the one who oppose these kind of happenings are labeled as militants and extremist by the media so that these big companies can start the killing operation legally. But time will come when they will pay the price.
13:26 June 8, 2010 by Guy with a big whang
You want to REALLY boycott Sweden and send a strong message, well then:


You come here, you adjust to the foreign land, don't expect the foreign land to adjust to YOU.

http://tinyurl DOT com/27mfxrr

(replace the DOT with a . and delete the spaces of course)
13:53 June 8, 2010 by unt9
So if the company is guilty, close the company and open a new one, better one.
14:00 June 8, 2010 by rumcajs
@ Guy with a big whang

In THOS ONE comment, I agree 100%. I'm tired of these people too. Nobody is forcing them to stay.

No-1 is perfect and I'm always (or most of the time) open to sensible critics, but there are a lot of people here that seem to have come to the wrong place and for some reason, just don't go back home even if they hate it so much.

About Lundin Petroleum, it'd be good to investigate further and IF it is true what we've been told here, it'd be very sad... but not surprising. It's another oil company after all.
14:33 June 8, 2010 by Guy with a big whang

wouldn't surprise me one bit if it were true, like you said, its another oil company.

And it wouldnt surprise me either if they just get slapped on the wrist for it because of who they are and... Sweden has a very "pretty" legal system when it comes to large multinationals.
14:47 June 8, 2010 by Byggare Bob
Old news. Nothing new in this report that has been successfully dissected by the firm in the past, just packaged differently.
15:33 June 8, 2010 by Audrian
Oil companies are too powerfull. They have money and politicians in their pockets. They use private media for misinforming the public.

I do not know when the public would wake up and vote for those that serve the average man's interest. In developing countries, these companies have the state in their pockets.

This is my suggestion: The public should run its own radio, television and newpaper so that it could fight misinformation that continously oosing out of the private media.
16:41 June 8, 2010 by avatar
it's a news about a Swedish oil company possibly involved in some crime. Well offcoure the matter should be investigated and if the company is found guilty -- the responsibles should be punished -- 'that's it'. I don't understand what it has to do with muslims, isreal, Sweden or commen Swedes or immigrants in Sweden -- nothing at all. seems like some people are always waiting for their opinion to be expressed and don't care what the news is about -- grow up guys!!!!
22:30 June 8, 2010 by noskinpain
Pretty stale news ....as are other news that do not affect the western powers and the presumed very conscientious nations of the world. Does anyone listen to the news these days without hearing about the BP adventure cum misadventure in America and all the heat it's generated in the recent times...had this happened in some improverished underworld cum underdog cum under-developed country, the powers that be in the countries from which these multinationals emanate would have mandated the governments of these countries to 1. shut the agitators for fairness up. 2. lock them up 3. tie them up and hang them as in the case of Ken Saro-wiwa. or 4. Burn them up and lay the blame at the corridors of militants and all faceless others.

But big old sweden can never be wrong and is saintly....did i hear someone shout halleluyah. Until this issue is addressed and rightly too....the power brokers here should shut up about the ills committed by other nations in their leagues in these disadvantaged nations...fullstop.
00:51 June 9, 2010 by Avidror
Don't boycott any country, please. Both Sweden and Israel are lovely countries.
02:15 June 10, 2010 by nukes-free
@ avatar, thanks for the sensible comment.

people seem to turn every article to attack against race and group of people they do not like. This holds true that " the main reason why the working class will never ever be able to come together to demand justice or fairness from the owners of the means of production, the multinational companies, the big corporations, or the big government is that they see their problems as being created by their fellow working class who are maybe not of the same skin color as theirs. They see their fellow working class from other countries living in their country as parasites that take away their jobs, and eat up their social welfare benefits etc. The bourgeoisie have used every means to set the proletariats against the proletariats. They have made them to fight against each other thereby distracting them from focusing on the capital/ corporate greed and exploitations of the upper class.

It is sick that people are attacking races and countries here instead of the oil company that is accused of crimes against humanity ( i am not ascerting they are guilty anyway)
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