Oil is a source of tension and conflict in South Sudan. It has been this way since the time of Sudan's war with the autonomous south. Oil extraction has occasioned much misery, including fierce violence during the war, compulsory removals and pollution of fragile habitats. In addition, the population has derived little profit from oil income. There has been little or no remedy and reparation for loss suffered. The result is deep dissatisfaction and strain.
When it became independent in July 2011, South Sudan took control over the sizeable oil industry that accounts for 95% of the country's income. PAX is focussing on getting remedy and reparation for victims. It supports South Sudan's development of oil extraction as a source of peace.
South Sudan's oil industry has a negative impact locally, but it remains the only source of real income for this country under construction. Relations with neighbouring Sudan, which transports the oil, remain erratic. Recovery of incurred loss, improvement of living conditions in oil producing areas and broader development must be achieved simultaneously in a context that is quite unstable.
Activities & results
We research key issues and make policy recommendation. In response to the report Unpaid Debt, a criminal investigation was started into the links between Lundin Petroleum and reported war crimes. In 2017, the company’s CEO and Chair are likely to stand trial for aiding and abetting war crimes.
We organise meetings with the South Sudanese government social organisations, local leaders and international companies to draw attention to the human rights situation in oil-rich areas and to offer alternatives.
We lobby for good legislation that protects the interest of the civil population during oil extraction.
We carry out research into the social consequences of oil extraction in South Sudan. Relying on prior field studies, PAX was able to influence recent legislation. This offered better protection to the local population.
We are committed to the realization of effective remedy for victims of the oil war.