Suit in France against TotalEnegies on Uganda oil project flops

Tuesday February 28 2023
TotalEnergies site in Buliisa, Uganda

TotalEnergies' central processing facility under construction in Buliisa, Uganda on February 20, 2023. A French court on February 28, 2023 dismissed a lawsuit against oil company TotalEnergies over its controversial oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania. PHOTO | BADRU KATUMBA | AFP


A court in Paris on Tuesday dismissed a case filed by six French and Ugandan environmental and human rights groups seeking to halt construction of the 1,443km East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) from Uganda to Tanzania.

The activists had accused French oil major TotalEnergies, the lead investor in the $5 billion Eacop, of doing little to protect the environment and people.

The court, however, ruled that the case was not only inadmissible but also required in-depth analysis to ascertain if the accusations against the firm were justified, including an audit of ground operations.

“We are yet to discuss the next course of action,” Dickens Kamugisha, the chief executive officer of Uganda-based African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), one of the plaintiffs, said after the ruling.

“It is sad that after three years of struggle, the court decided not to consider the merits but rather technicalities,” he added.

Uganda’s oil project involves drilling over 400 wells – most located in the  Murchison Falls National Park.