EU/Ugandan Government saga continues as the EU summons TotalEnergies for questioning

Patrick Pouyanné and Yoweri Museveni
  • The EU has summoned French oil magnate TotalEnergies for questioning
  • TotalEnergies has promised to side with the regional governments of Uganda and Tanzania and go ahead with its pipeline project as scheduled
  • The EU is concerned that those affected by the project will not be compensated appropriately

The European Union parliament has emphatically voiced its concerns about the pipeline project the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments are devising.

The pipeline which is designed to run through Lake Albert has raised some humanitarian concerns, as the EU parliament is concerned that the project would displace the residents of the area and pollute the water resource and the land in the area.

The Ugandan government remains adamant that the project would go on as planned, with or without its current partners, one of the said partners being the French oil giant TotalEnergies.

However, it has been reported that Total Energies have been summoned by the EU parliament on October 10 to answer to charges of environmental and human rights abuse.

The EU has summoned the CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné to Brussels to justify the proposal that the lawmakers disapproved of. Last week, the EU advised TotalEnergies to wait a year before commissioning the project to allow time to assess the possibilities of using other routes for the pipeline.

The oil company has however vowed to side with the President of Uganda and noted that the project will go on as scheduled.

TotalEnergies which convinced the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments of the viability of the project owns a 62% stake in the project. Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation own a 15% stake each, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) owns an 8% stake.

The pressure the EU is putting on the stakeholders has driven them to begin disclosing information on the project via media briefings or on their websites, which they initially withheld.

The Ugandan and Tanzanian governments have revealed the projected number of displaced people due to the project and have even disclosed information on their replacement housing.

According to both governments, only 331 out of a total of 9,513 Eacop’s PAPs in Tanzania will be physically displaced. And in Uganda, 203 out of a total of 3,648 PAPs will be physically displaced.

The EU has however estimated that over 100,000 people are likely to be affected, the majority of whom are farmers. The EU is also concerned that there is no real groundwork from both nations’ governments to compensate this many people.

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