President Museveni has said the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project will proceed despite the resolution by the European Union (EU) Parliament.
The over US$20 billion has come under severe criticism from energy rights activists, who want it stopped, capturing the attention of the European Parliament, which on Thursday, 15 September 2022 agreed to stinging measures against the coveted pipeline project.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Thomas Tayebwa this week condemned EU’s resolution saying it “is based on misinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of key facts on environment and human rights protection”.
In his communication to the House on Thursday, September 15, 2022, Tayebwa retorted, terming the resolutions “deliberate misinformation.”
“The resolution is based on misinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of key facts on environment and human rights protection. It represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania,” Tayebwa pointed out.
“The remarks impressed President Museveni who confirmed that the project would go ahead as planned. The remarks of the Deputy Speaker and the Attorney General in one of the dailies concerning the EU Parliament and EACOP interested me in making some comments of reassurance to our people,” said Museveni on Friday.
“I want to assure you that the project shall proceed as stipulated in the contract we have with TotalEnergies and CNOOC,” he clarified.
The EU bile against the project, added Tayebwa, betrays neocolonial attitudes and imperialism of the EU Parliament, which he derided for closing an eye on the union’s own emissions, instead hypocritically shining the light on an emerging economy Uganda.
In their resolution, the EU condemned the EACOP as a project that will allegedly ruin biodiversity and cause irreversible climate change, which is the height of their consistent efforts to frustrate the development of the refinery, which started by forcing the hands of prospective investors to hold back on making the Final Investment Decision, which happened only early this year, since the first discovery of commercial deposits of petroleum in Uganda in 2006.
“…Calls for the EU and the international community to exert maximum pressure on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders, to protect the environment and to put an end to the extractive activities in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including the shores of Lake Albert, and commit to using the best available means to preserve the culture, health, and future of the communities affected and to explore alternatives in line with international climate and biodiversity commitments,” partly reads the resolution.
Museveni, in return, said, “We should remember that Total Energies convinced me about the Pipeline idea; if they choose to listen to the EU Parliament, we shall find someone else to work with.”
He added: “Either way, we shall have our oil coming out by 2025 as planned. So, the people of Uganda should not worry.”