About Unpaid Debt
All victims of human rights violations have a right to remedy and reparation. This website is about the tens of thousands of people in South Sudan who lived through the horrors of the oil war and have been denied this right.
From 1983 to 2005, Sudan was torn apart by a civil war involving the Government and a variety of armed groups, many from the Southern part of the country. Mid-1990s, international companies signed contracts with the Government of Sudan to exploit oil in areas that were not under Government control, setting off a vicious war that would last until 2003. One of the worst affected areas was Block 5A, that had been awarded in 1997 to the members of the Lundin Consortium: IPC/Lundin Oil/Lundin Petroleum, (the Swedish operator, now renamed Lundin Energy), Petronas (Malaysia) and OMV (Austria). The inhabitants of their concession area belong to the Nuer people. The oil war divided them more than ever, galvanizing the emergence of the very same class of war lords that continues to tear South Sudan apart today.
Between 1997 and 2003, war crimes were routinely committed in what was essentially a military campaign by the Government of Sudan to secure and take control of the oil fields. This included intentional killing of civilians, burning of shelters, use of child soldiers, pillage, rape of women, abduction of children, torture, and forced displacement. Satellite pictures taken between 1994 and 2003 show that the Lundin Consortium’s activities in Block 5A coincided with a spectacular drop in agricultural land use, causing poverty and hunger. By the time Lundin and OMV left the area in 2003, 12,000 people had died and 160,000 had been forcibly displaced. The companies deny any responsibility. Petronas bought OMV’s share and continued the activities.
Lundin sold its Sudanese assets in 2003 with $92 million profit, invested in Norway and became a multi-billion dollar business. Arguably, Lundin, OMV and their shareholders have benefitted from war crimes. By endorsing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, they have committed themselves to knowing and addressing their adverse human rights impacts, but they don’t do it.
By not assessing and addressing past human rights impacts, Lundin Energy, OMV, and Petronas are disrespecting human rights today.
By tolerating the misconduct of Lundin Energy, OMV and Petroleum, shareholders are enabling and encouraging their misconduct.
The War Crimes Unit of Swedish Prosecution Authority is finalising the investigation into aiding and abetting international crimes by Ian H Lundin, Lundin Energy’s Chairman, and CEO Alexandre Schneiter. In November 2018, they were informed about the charges and received the case files, and Lundin Energy received notification that the prosecution intended to impose a penalty of SEK 3,285 million on the company. In September 2019, the investigation was extended as additional evidence had emerged. The trial may start in the Autumn of 2020 and take several years.
Once trial hearings commence, this website will provide daily coverage of proceedings, expert analyses, and entertaining comments by interesting observers