Environmental activists, religious figures and believers protested Tuesday in Paris against the mega-oil projects of the French group TotalEnergies in Uganda and Tanzania, a first action led by the movements Extinction Rebellion Spiritualities and GreenFaith.
"Deliver us from Total", "Warm hearts, not pipelines": they were around thirty gathered in front of a TotalEnergies gas station, in the south of Paris, according to an AFP journalist.
Extinction Rebellion Spiritualities is a branch of the Extinction Rebellion movement, well known for its punchy actions of civil disobedience. GreenFaith is an interfaith NGO born in the United States, which fights “for climate justice”, supported by religious volunteers.
Protesters on Tuesday opposed the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and Tilenga oil field project in Uganda and Tanzania initiated by TotalEnergies. NGOs accuse the multinational of getting their hands on the land through expropriations and are worried about the environmental impact of these projects.
"Our traditions and our religions push us not to remain silent", declared Rabbi Yeshaya Dalsace, one of the religious personalities present, with Pastor Caroline Ingrand-Hoffet, the president of the Rassemblement des Musulmans de France Anouar Kbibech, the Buddhist Master Olivier Reigen Wang-Genh and Bishop Marc Stenger.
These religious personalities arrived carrying an empty coffin, on which African landscapes were painted.
“I am Catholic and I find it great to see religious figures take a stand on this divisive subject of ecology,” says Isabelle, 43, who like all members of Extinction Rebellion refuses to give her last name. .
TotalEnergies has been sued by several environmental NGOs regarding its activities in Uganda and Tanzania. He will speak on this subject on December 7 before the Paris court.
In the viewfinder of the associations, two colossal sites intrinsically linked: the Tilenga project, a drilling of 419 wells in Uganda, including a third in the Murchison Falls natural park; and the EACOP project (East African Crude Oil Pipeline), the longest heated oil pipeline in the world, which crosses Tanzania for nearly 1.500 km, crossing several protected natural areas.
TotalEnergies reacted in a press release, stressing that “all the partners of the Tilenga and EACOP projects are committed to implementing them by placing environmental and biodiversity issues at the center as well as the rights of the communities concerned, according to the highest international standards. demanding”.
These projects, the statement added, "constitute a major development challenge for Uganda and Tanzania and we are doing everything we can to make them an exemplary project in terms of transparency, shared prosperity, economic and social progress, development sustainability, environmental consideration and respect for human rights”.
The Editorial Board (with AFP)