This website is about the war crimes trial against Lundin Energy. It is part of the Unpaid Debt project that seeks justice for victims of Sudan’s oil war.
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.