Editorial challenges Bildt to answer about Lundin

Editorial challenges Bildt to answer about Lundin
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix (file)
Two former foreign affairs ministers and the Social Democrats' foreign affairs critic question what Foreign Minister Carl Bildt knew about the displacement of people and other atrocities in Sudan when Lundin Oil drilled for oil there.

Foreign foreign affairs ministers Lena Hjelm-Wallén and Jan Eliasson and Social Democratic foreign affairs critic Urban Ahlin demand that Bildt admit to what he and others on Lundin Oil’s board knew about violence against civilians in southern Sudan, where Lundin drilled for oil.

“Since it concerns Sweden’s international reputation, we are concerned over Bildt’s continued silence in the Lundin affair,” they wrote in a sharp attack against the foreign minister in an editorial published in Dagens Nyheter on Saturday.

At the same time, the writers also welcome an investigation that prosecutor Magnus Elving has launched on the suspected crimes under international law in Sudan.

“Was Sweden’s foreign minister in any way partly responsibility for the atrocities in Sudan?” they wrote. “In view of Sweden’s high profile on issues relating to human rights and international law, it is extremely important to bring clarity to the matter, especially since Bildt also his own economic interests in Lundin companies.”

The three add that questions were asked regarding Bildt’s involvement in Lundin Oil, as well as his links to Russia’s Vostok Nafta, which is 90 percent comprised of shares in controversial Russian gas giant Gazprom, when he became foreign minister in 2006.

Hjelm-Wallen, Eliasson and Ahlin want to know whether the consortium, to which Lundin belonged, received protection for its exploitation from the Sudanese government’s military forces and if Lundin Oil used military transport or facilitate investment in infrastructure for the government’s military operations.

In addition, they demand answers as to what steps were taken if Bildt and the board of Lundin Oil knew about the displacement of people and the atrocities that took place.

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