China Vows Support for Uganda's Crude Oil Pipeline Despite Fierce Opposition

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China Vows Support for Uganda's Crude Oil Pipeline Despite Fierce Opposition

 Yuan on the map of Africa (© Shutterstock/Oleg Elkov)
Yuan on the map of Africa (© Shutterstock/Oleg Elkov)

China’s support for the fiercely contested East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) could see the 1,443-km pipeline reach implementation even after Western financiers and insurers backed off amid claims of human rights violations and environmental concerns. 

As Bloomberg reported on Friday, April 5, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni expressed gratitude for China’s Xi Jinping’s “unwavering support” for the pipeline project despite several setbacks it has faced since its commencement. 

In his statement last Friday, President Museveni said he had received a letter from Xi Jinping highlighting corporations between the two countries. 

“The message reaffirmed China’s commitment to collaborating with Uganda to ensure the success of the project,” Museveni said, adding that the Chinese officials were open to discussions regarding the East Africa’s longest crude pipeline. 

Planned to start at Hoima, transporting crude oil  from Uganda’s Lake Albert oilfields to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, the project has been subject to widespread criticism by human rights and environmental conservation activists who raised concerns about extensive human and wildlife displacement along the pipeline’s route. 

In 2022, the European Parliament issued a resolution condemning human rights violations tied to the massive fossil fuel project amid claims of forceful evictions and poor compensation of displaced families. The claims were however dismissed by President Museveni, who has always insisted that the project was key to the country’s prosperity and energy security. 

The EACOP project is currently spearheaded by French oil major, TotalEnergies SE, and China’s Cnooc Ltd.

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