Sweden prosecutor to probe possible oil company complicity in Sudan war crimes

[JURIST] Sweden's international prosecutor, Magnus Elving, announced Monday that he would investigate the possible role of Lundin Petroleum [corporate website] in crimes against humanity committed in Sudan [JURIST news archive] from 1997 to 2003. The investigation will examine allegations made in a report [text, PDF] released by the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS) [advocacy website], which alleged that Sudanese troops attacked and displaced civilians so that Lundin could have access to land for oil drilling. The ECOS contends that by launching oil exploration in an unstable area, Lundin exacerbated the violence in the region, leading to widespread displacement and killing of civilians. Elving indicated the aim of the investigation is to determine if any individual can be held responsible [The Local report] for any of the alleged crimes. Sweden's Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt [official website] will likely be included in the investigation, due to his role as a member of Lundin's board of directors from 2001 to 2006. Lundin's chairman of the board has denied the allegations [text, PDF] included in the ECOS report and contends that Lundin actually helped bring peace and stability to Sudan.

International efforts continue in order to bring those responsible for the violence in Sudan to justice. Last week, two Sudanese men suspected of committing war crimes related to the ongoing violence in the Darfur [JURIST news archive] region of Sudan surrendered [JURIST report] to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Earlier this month, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official website] called on the UN Security Council [official website] to support the arrest [statement, PDF; JURIST report] of two other Sudanese men who have been indicted for war crimes in Sudan. In March 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for Sudanese head of state Omar al-Bashir [ICC materials, PDF; JURIST news archive], charging him with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity but declining to charge him with genocide. Last February, the ICC Appeals Chamber ordered the trial chamber to reconsider the charges of genocide after an appeal was filed [JURIST reports] by ICC prosecutors last July.

 

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