• Sweden's news in English

Journalists 'probing Lundin Oil': report

Rebecca Martin · 13 Sep 2011, 12:57

Published: 13 Sep 2011 12:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Martin Schibbye, who has been held in Ethiopian prison with his colleague Johan Persson since the beginning of July, sent a letter dated mid-August to his old classmates from the journalism department of Stockholm University which may hold the key to what the two reporters were doing in the country when they were arrested.

”To understand what we were trying to achieve – read Kerstin Lundell's book that was published by Ordfront last year,” the letter read, according to Swedish newspaper ETC.

Kerstin Lundell's book, "Affärer i blod och olja. Lundin petroleum i Afrika" (Business in blood and oil. Lundin Petroleum in Africa), describes how the company has contributed to the encroachment of the civilian population while extracting natural gas in the Ogaden province of Ethiopia, bordering on Somalia.

While writing the book, which won Lundell the Swedish investigative journalism award Guldspaden in 2010, Lundell decided not to travel to the area in fear of what might befall her there, ETC reports

But in the beginning of July 2011, Schibbye and Persson were arrested by Ethiopian police in the Ogaden province, which they had entered illegally with the help of ONLF guerilla soldiers.

In an email to a journalist friend at Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) Schibbye wrote that he was ”doing something on oil” prior to going to Ethiopia, reported the paper.

In June 2010 ECOS (European Coalition on Oil in Sudan), an umbrella group of European organisations, including about 50 NGOs, published a report called "Unpaid Debt", urging Sweden, Austria and Malaysia to probe whether Lundin Petroleum (then Lundin Oil), in consortium with Petronas and OMV, had broken international law between 1997 and 2003.

By launching oil exploration in such an unstable region, the consortium set the wheels in motion for a power struggle that had led to numerous crimes, including widespread "killing of civilians, rape of women, abduction of children, torture and forced displacements," the report claimed.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was on the board of directors of Lundin Petroleum at the time.

Following the publication of the ECOS report, Bildt defended Lundin in an interview with Swedish public radio, insisting the company's actions in Sudan had "opened the way for a peace deal" in the area.

According to ETC, the story that Schibbye and Persson were working on was supposed to be published in Swedish magazine Filter.

Although the magazine could not contribute to the reporters' expenses in Ethiopia, the editor-in-chief Mattias Göransson had promised the two journalists that if they came back with a story, the magazine would buy it, he told Swedish journalist trade union paper Journalisten last week.

However, the majority of Filter's articles have a domestic focus.

”I don't want to disclose anything about the nature of the article, but I can say that there is a very strong Swedish connection,” said Göransson to Journalisten.

Story continues below…

Lundin Petroleum is involved in exploration and production of oil and natural gas and is active in Norway, Russia and Sudan, as well as Ethiopia and Somalia.

According to ETC, the company gas been criticised by the United Nations and human rights groups for its activities in southern Sudan.

In 2006, Lundin Petroleum began exploration activities in Ethiopia, despite concerns from human rights groups that Ethiopian authorities had forcibly removed residents to help the company establish operations.

In 2009, Lundin Petroleum, sold its subsidiary in east Africa to Africa Oil, which is jointly owned by Lukas Lundin and Lundin Petroleum.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

21:57 September 13, 2011 by h2m
apparently it was a joint venture for murder and genocide to get blood oil in ogaden.Despite the atrocities committed swedish does not recognize ogaden as conflict zone primarily to protect thee LUND and millions of tax payers money given to Ethiopia as aid but goes to the one party rule cadres at expense of the wider community. the plight of Ogaden Refugees in sweden who are denied recognition for their human Rights is a vivid example of the marriage surrounding the LUND and the Weyane govenment. Swedish ca not justify to its people while giving millions to at same time acknowledge that the same government they aid supporting is committing Genocide to its own people discounted media blackout.
11:54 September 14, 2011 by Munir Ahmed
IT'S OFFICIAL, $$$ waiting for them was behind Swedish reporters' motive to befriend Islamic terrorists.

"...The [Filter's] editor-in-chief Mattias Göransson had promised the two journalists that if they came back with story - the magazine would buy it, he told Swedish Journalist trade union paper Journalisten last week."

Ogaden (ONLF) Islamic terrorist massacres, ignored by $$$ hungry Swedish reporters:




19:51 September 14, 2011 by kynan
its the west that blindly support the regime that kills his own people and with out them the blood sucker in Ethiopia would not survive.
Today's headlines
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available