South Sudan Rebel Movement Warns of Violence Over Total’s Plan to Build Oil Pipeline, Demands Consultation

South Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SSLM/A)
Mayom, South Sudan
December 10, 2011

Total Oil Company Must Deal with SSLA To Build a New Oil Pipeline

December 10, 2011 (SSNA) — The South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) is seriously advising Total oil Company not to waste its resources to pursue an ambition to construct oil pipeline from South Sudan through Uganda to a seaport in Kenya without prior approval from revolutionary forces that control more than forty percent of rural areas of Unity State.

The SSLA is deeply troubled by Total’s naivety to deal with Kiir’s regime in Juba without considering the fact that the oilfields of Unity State operate for the time being because of SSLA’s approval. The Total’s ambition to construct oil pipeline from South Sudan to Kenya via Uganda cannot take place if SSLA is not involved in the deal. Total might have been deceived by the corrupt regime in Juba without considering the facts on the ground.

The SSLA would like to advise Total that Kiir’s regime does not control Unity State and the idea of constructing oil pipeline could not be possible without expressed permission from SSLA which controls areas where the oil wells are located. For such a project to materialize, the Total will have to get permission from SSLA to construct the pipeline.

Whether a construction of a new pipeline is required is something that needs to be decided by a democratic government that shall be formed soon after the demise of Salva Kiir’s regime. The priority of the people of South Sudan now is to get rid of Salva Kiir’s corrupt government. Constructing a new pipeline is something that needs study by taking into consideration the cost and environmental concerns.

There are people in the South who believe that building a new oil pipeline from Unity State and Upper Nile to Kenya has to be based on environmental considerations. Experience from other countries has shown that incidents of leaks or explosions of the pipeline could cause serious environmental damages. That was one of the reasons the United States government in November refused to permit the construction of oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

We would seriously advise Total that South Sudanese do not approve the company’s secret dealings with corrupt regime of Salva Kiir. Such ambitious project of constructing a pipeline from South Sudan to Kenya would need expressed permission from SSLA. Total should not be under illusion that Salva Kiir would guarantee their security when they embark on constructing a new pipeline. Such a project can only take place after peace is achieved in the entire South Sudan. But before the corrupt regime of Salva Kiir is overthrown, any company signing deals with Juba’s corruption lords is wasting its resources because those deals will be rescinded once the corrupt regime is deposed.

The SSLA advises Total to wait for the formation of a democratic government that shall take place as soon as Kiir’s regime is over thrown. It is the government which is answerable to the people of South Sudan that shall decide to construct a new pipeline based on feasibility studies which take into consideration environment concerns.

For contact:
Information Department
SSLM/A Headquarters
Mayom, South Sudan
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