Maina wa Njuguna
Two Swedish oil company executives of Lundin Oil are finally in court to face criminal charges in what is alleged to be their complicity and war crimes against the people of Sudan. Mr. Ian Lundin and Alex Schneiter have denied the charges.
The company sought the assistance of Sudanese government to help ‘secure’ its oil field findings. To secure the field, a campaign of arial bombings, shootings of civilians, burning of entire villages and crops took place to clear the fields for oil drilling and extraction per the charges.
With the help of these documented events by author Eric Reeves, the trial is finally taking place in Stockholm, Sweden.
The trial, which has been 14 years in the making, is expected to be a very long one, likely to take slightly over two years. About 61 witnesses are expected to testify and some include former Lundin Oil employees, former UN staff and a Swedish politician.
Missing defendants are Sudanese government officials and their accomplices for executing these heinous crimes against their own people, a betrayal of immense magnitude and dereliction of duty at the very minimum.
‘THE LOOTING MACHINE’
This is nothing new, for a long-time foreign oil companies have amassed a litany of immense destruction of Africa’s landmasses at the watch of weak and corrupt government officials.
Oil behemoth Royal Dutch Shell was involved in a protracted 15-year legal battle with Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria on behalf of four local farmers from the Goi’s and Oruma’s impoverished people for the immense oil spills that caused widespread havoc to farmlands in Niger’s oil rich Delta region.
Shell was found liable for the destruction and ordered to pay about $16 million dollars in compensation to the affected communities. The cleanup of the environment as ordered by the court is likely to cost billions of dollars per UN estimates.
‘The Looting Machine’ by investigative journalist Tom Burgis explores reasons why resource rich countries fail their people. An example is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with mines worth trillions of dollars and yet Congolese people are severely impoverished.
It cites DRC’s two most recent former presidents licensed international mining companies to extract minerals. The Congolese elites benefited greatly and much more for the foreign companies in the billions of dollars while ordinary people were left holding the bag since none of the goodies went to the nation’s coffers per United Nations (UN).