South Sudan: Lundin in Swedish war crimes pipeline

Sweden last week indicted two oil executives from Swedish oil company Lundin Energy for aiding and abetting war crimes in South Sudan between 1999 and 2003. If the trial begins next year as scheduled, it will be a very important step in the area of ​​corporate responsibility. . To find out more, our partners at Asymmetrical Haircuts invited Egbert Wesslink, one of the authors of a 2010 report from the Dutch NGO Pax for Peace, titled “Unpaid Debt”. To take control of an oil zone, Lundin Energy paid government forces and militias who committed war crimes, according to the report. With its massive legal team, the oil company did everything to stop this indictment, in what has become “the largest criminal investigation in Swedish history,” Wesslink says.

In November, the Swedish prosecutor’s office announced that it had filed a complaint against the president and former CEO of Lundin Energy for complicity in war crimes allegedly committed by the Sudanese army and allied militias in southern Sudan. from 1999 to 2003 during the so-called oil wars.

The basis of the accusations was a 2010 report by the Dutch NGO Pax for Peace on behalf of the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan, titled Unpaid Debt. The report recounts how, between 1997 and 2003, an oil consortium including Swedish oil company Lundin, along with Austrian OMV and Malaysian company Petronas, attempted to secure an area in southern Sudan known as Block 5 for oil exploration. To take control of the area, they paid government forces and militias who committed war crimes, according to the report. Thousands of people died in the so-called oil wars and 200,000 people were displaced by violence, estimates the NGO.

We invited one of the report’s authors, Egbert Wesslink, to talk to us about it.


This podcast was published as part of a partnership between and Asymmetrical Haircuts, a podcast on international justice produced from The Hague by journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg, who retain full control and independence podcast content.

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