Thursday May 1 2014

CSOs, security firms disagree on oil deals


Civil society organisations and security agencies working in the Albertine region yesterday traded accusations over harassment and concealing oil deals.

Mr Joel Okao, the coordinator of CSOs Coalition on Oil and Gas, said when they ask for accountability and transparency, security agencies accuse them of sabotaging government work.

“Disagreeing with government on improper resettlement and inadequate compensations does not make us unpatriotic,” Mr Okao said at a meeting organised by Human Rights Network Uganda in Entebbe.

No accountability
Ms Winfred Ngabiirwe, the executive director of Global Rights Alert, said security agencies were harrasing communities yet police were not offering any explanation.

“Oil companies subcontract security companies that abuse human rights but cannot be held accountable. We want these oil companies to be held responsible for rights abuses,” Ms Ngabiirwe said.

However, Mr Herbert Ogwal, the security coordinator for China National Offshore Oil Corporation, denied the allegations and accused some CSOs of lacking knowledge on oil.

Mr Sam Banga, the regional internal security officer oil and gas from the President’s Office, said the police presence was “of a force working for people” in the region.

“We work with the people for the people and it is the people who give us information. We should stop blame games and as government and CSOs work together to develop the sector,” he said.