'They want to silence us': Uganda cracks down on anti-oil protests

(Context, 19 Jan 2023) Ugandan climate activists arrested for protesting against TotalEnergies and the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)

Ugandan environmental campaigner Judith Bero-Irwoth has spent years warning of the risks of a planned crude oil pipeline and its impact on communities in the west of the country.

Protests by activists like Bero-Irwoth have ramped up in the Albertine Graben region and the capital, Kampala, in recent years since France's TotalEnergies and China National Offshore Oil Corporation struck deals to develop Uganda's oil fields.

The agreements include the proposed $3.5-billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which would ship crude from Lake Albert in Uganda to global markets through a port on Tanzania's Indian Ocean coast.

Development groups have raised alarm about the impacts on the climate - saying the pipeline will generate 34 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually - and on communities, as an estimated 14,000 households are at risk of losing their land.

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Context, 19 Jan 2023: 'They want to silence us': Uganda cracks down on anti-oil protests