The government reacted harshly to the resolution by the European Parliament deterring Uganda from producing her 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil that was discovered in the Albertine Graben in 2006.
Sitting in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, legislators in the European Parliament said the oil projects in Uganda pose a risk to the environment and are facilitating human rights abuses.
The projects in question are the Kingfisher project in Hoima and Kikuube districts, the Tilenga project in Buliisa & Nwoya districts and the EACOP project that will export the country’s crude to international markets through Tanzania.
While the resolution attracted harsh responses from the Ugandan political and industry leadership, opposition politicians Robert Kyaguluanyi Ssentamu of National Unity Platform (NUP) and Dr Kizza Besigye of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) are happy that Europe is responding.
Bobi Wine applauds EU Resolution
Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, said: “We are glad they cited the issues of gross human rights abuse and environmental abuse, among others. For a long time, we have been calling upon the international communities to stop being the wind under Museveni’s wing.”
He added: “We’ve heard Museveni declare it’s his oil. It’s not his oil. That is our crude. We applaud the EU Parliament Resolution, but we demand more. We have been requesting punishments.”
Quoting a tweet in which President Museveni tells TotalEnergies that he will get another partner to extract Uganda’s oil if they choose to listen to the EU Parliament, Besigye warned oil companies that they risk being ‘inimical to the people of Uganda’ and that ‘there are consequences’ if they ignore the regime’s human rights abuses.
Oil companies accomplices of human rights abuses?
In another tweet, with screenshots of news items of the military attacking the Parliament of Uganda, Besigye questions Museveni: “If Parliament could be attacked in broad daylight with impunity, who, then oversees the people’s interest in the oil exploitation processes?”
In another, he asks the President: “With courts that are raided and terrorized by your forces, where do the victims of police brutality run to?
“That’s why any investor working with your junta to exploit public resources would be an accomplice to your junta’s crimes against Ugandans,” Besigye added.
Don’t ignore our advice
Besigye, in a series of other tweets, calls on TotalEnergies and CNOOC Uganda not to ignore the human rights happening in Uganda.
“Uganda’s junta, which blatantly and routinely violates citizen rights, freedoms & disregards the law with impunity shouldn’t be supported to access the country’s Oil resources,” Besigye said.
Adding: “TotalEnergies, CNOOC Uganda & other investors should ignore this advice at their own risk.”