European banks invest over $761m in brutal campaign against civilians in South Sudan

South Sudanese IDPs in the South Sudan-Uganda border. Photo: AFP

Juba, November 16, 2023 (SSNA) — Major European banks and investors invest more than $761m (€700m) in oil companies tied to a brutal campaign against South Sudanese civilians, a new report by the Global Witness and seen by the South Sudan News Agency reveals.

The report details how European banks and investors keep providing money to the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) and Malaysian-based Petronas oil company. The two firms control at least 75% of oil production stakes in South Sudan.

In the report, Global Witness finds that German-based Deutsche Bank and Allianz and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo are heavily involved in funding Petronas and CNPC and that they all hold over $108m (€100m) each in shares and bonds in both companies. Petronas and the CNPC operate joint oil ventures with South Sudan’s government-controlled company, Nilepet.

“While the oil companies continued operating in South Sudan, they provided revenue to the South Sudanese government and cooperated with its security and military forces, who are accused of atrocities against civilians. These include mass killing, mass rape and torture,” the report says.

According to the report, “[t]hese companies generate revenue that government forces have used to finance violence against civilians.” In the report, Nilepet gives money to the government security agencies including Juba-backed militia groups to secure oil sites where CNPC and Petronas operate. The investigations also reveal how government-backed militia groups and national security agents use violent means to remove civilians from their homes, paving the way for oil companies to expand their operations.

The report further discloses that companies like Intesa Sanpaolo, Deutsche Bank, and Allianz have made money from investments in CNPC and Petronas. Meanwhile, the South Sudanese have suffered countless abuses financed by oil money. The report also says the same banks and investors provide at least $4.3 billion in loans to the same oil firms operating in South Sudan.

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