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Human Rights

Investigation Against Lundin Oil Opens

Publicerat måndag 21 juni 2010 kl 16.13
The author of the report "Unpaid Debt", Egbert Wasselink. Photo: Fredrik Persson / SCANPIX

A Swedish prosecutor decided Monday to open preliminary investigations to determine whether Lundin Oil was involved in operations that meant 200,000 had to flee their homes and 10,000 were killed in the Sudan. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt formerly sat on Lundin's board, and according to Agence France Press, will likely be drawn into the investigation.

One of the reasons behind the investigation is a report from several volunteer organizations, alleging that Lundin Oil breached international law between 1997 and 2003 in the Sudan.

The report, Unpaid Debt, argued Sudanese were forced to flee or were killed during this time as Sudanese soldiers in cooperation with militant groups attacked civilians to drive them away from the field where several oil companies extracted oil.

The report is based both on eyewitness accounts, aerial photographs and satellite images.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bilt has served on the board of Lundin between 2001 and 2006. Lundin Oil told Swedish Television that they are ready to cooperate with the investigation.

The prosecutor Magnus Elving told news agency TT that there is reason to believe that crimes have been committed and that there may be a Swedish connection with those crimes. Elving also said that this type of investigation is very extensive and usually takes a long time.

Thomas Bodstroem, the chairman of the justice committee in Swedish parliament and a Social Democrat, wrote on his blog Monday and called for Bildt to take a "time-out" from politics. Meanwhile, the Swedish Left Party is calling for Bildt's resignation. Bildt has dismissed those calls.

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