Ugandan President Museveni tells EU to Stop the arrogance and shallowness
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has slammed the European Union Parliament lawmakers over a resolution condemning a massive East African oil project and calling for it to be delayed.
The Ugandan President, while officiating at the two-day Seventh Uganda-International Oil and Gas Summit in Kampala on Tuesday, described European Parliament MPs as insufferable, egocentric and shallow-minded in a sting response to its advisory resolution halting the Fourteen-Trillion-Shilling East African Crude Pipeline project.
The President was commenting for the second time on the
resolution passed by majority EU legislators on September 16, seeking to compel
Uganda, Tanzania and French oil giant TotalEnergies SE to defer construction of
the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) for one year to study an
alternative route with least environment footprint.
The EU parliament’s resolutions are merely advisory to the
EU Commission, the executive branch of the 27-member trading bloc, which is
responsible for implementing decisions and managing the day-to-day business of
The EACOP will transport Uganda’s waxy crude oil from the
oil fields in mid-western Uganda to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Tanga port en route
to the international market. The capex for the project is around $3.8b (Shs14
President Museveni added that: “I didn’t support the idea of
a pipeline because I asked my friends from Total; where are you taking our
petrol?” adding that: “I developed interest in the pipeline later on for two
reasons. Our Tanzanian brothers and sisters will also benefit from the project
because they supported the liberation struggles.”
The second reason for the pipeline, Museveni said, is
because Tanzania and Mozambique have more gas compared to Uganda, and will,
therefore, provide an alternative export pipeline for gas to Uganda.
Uganda's parliament also lashed out at European lawmakers
over the resolution condemning a massive East African oil project and calling
for it to be delayed.
Uganda's deputy speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, reacted angrily to
the EU parliament resolution. "These are projects which were approved by
the parliament of Uganda, the parliament of a sovereign country and anything to
do with challenging their approval is an affront to the independence of this
house and we cannot take it lightly,"
The project aims to extract the huge crude reserves under
Lake Albert, a 160-kilometre-long natural border between Uganda and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, and ship the oil through what would become the world's
longest heated pipeline.
Lake Albert lies atop an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of
crude, of which about 1.4 billion barrels are currently considered recoverable.