All victims of gross violations of human rights have the right to remedy and reparation. According to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), businesses that have had adverse human rights impacts, “should provide for or cooperate in their remediation through legitimate processes”. From February 1997 to June 2003, a consortium of companies led by Lundin explored for oil in Sudan. Its members, Lundin, OMV and Petronas, benefitted from many crimes committed during the war that ruined the population. Their activities were directly linked to war crimes and other human rights violations and there is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that they even caused and contributed to the commission of war crimes and gross abuses.
The companies and their shareholders deny any responsibility for the fate of the tens of thousands of people who were harmed by these crimes and abuses. On May 4, 2017, a proposal to allocate SEK 5 billion for victims was presented at Lundin’s annual shareholders’ meeting, as a token of goodwill. The proposal was based on a new damage estimation. It was defeated by a smashing 99,84% of the vote, confirming the intransigent and self-centred attitude of its management and shareholders.
When the trial opens, some victims will be represented, who will be able to claim their right to remedy and reparation from the suspects and Lundin Energy. Another 150,000+ people who were harmed will have no legal opportunity to realise their right. They depend on the goodwill of Lundin, OMV, Petronas and their shareholders, who are not expected to accept any obligation towards them without substantial public, political, or market pressure.