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.