Ugandans sue Total Energies in France for reparations

Twenty-six Ugandans on Tuesday sued French oil giant, TotalEnergies in Paris, France, for reparations over alleged human rights violations at its massive megaprojects in Uganda, as climate protesters targeted its UK headquarters.

Joined by five Ugandan and French aid groups, people from the affected communities say the energy firm caused “serious harm,” especially to their rights to land and food.

At the heart of their complaint at the Paris court are two vast TotalEnergies developments: the Tilenga exploration of 419 oil wells, one-third of them in Uganda’s largest Murchison Falls National Park in Buliisa and Nwoya of Bunyoro and Acholi sub-regions, and EACOP, a 1,500-kilometre (930-mile) pipeline bringing crude oil from Hoima district in Bunyoro sub-region, mid-western Uganda to the Tanzanian coast through several protected nature reserves.

EACOP was also the target Tuesday of London climate campaigners who sprayed paint on the facade and lobby of TotalEnergies’ UK headquarters in the Canary Wharf financial district.

Police said 27 people were arrested in the demonstration by the Just Stop Oil group against both the pipeline’s effect on local communities and its projected greenhouse emissions of 379 million tonnes of carbon.

TotalEnergies said in a statement that it “fully respects the right to demonstrate and freedom of expression, but deplores all forms of violence, whether verbal, physical or material”.