oil and gas

Petroleum ministry snubs protesters’ demands in Melut: spokesperson

October 8, 2020

Thon Beny Thon, the spokesperson for the protesters' committee in the oil-producing Melut County of Upper Nile State said the National Ministry of Petroleum and the Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) have been slow in commencing the implementation of development projects that they had previously agreed to undertake.

The protesters in Malut had agreed with the government and DPOC in September this year to connect all areas of the county with road networks, connect all the villages to a piped water system, in addition to hiring teachers and building modern hospitals.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday, Beny Thon said: 'The Ministry of Petroleum and the company are not sincere in their promises and the ministry has not handed over the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which we had signed, to the follow-up committee until now. So there is a clear delay on their part in implementing the development demands agreed upon with the demonstrators.'

The protests began in August this year when young people in the Paloch area of Melut County called on the Chinese-Malaysian oil consortium to provide corporate social responsibility services in their area. At the time they held a peaceful demonstration in front of the offices of DPOC, demanding improvement of basic services, including roads, health, and education.

Earlier last month, organizers of the peaceful protests in Melut County said the government and DPOC agreed to meet their demands, disclosing that they agreed to form committees to follow up on the implementation process.

Beny Thon, while speaking to Radio Tamazuj, said the follow-up committee had noticed a clear reluctance by the government and DPOC Company to fulfil their commitment to implementing the protesters’ demands for development projects.

“The follow-up committee will take a unilateral decision, contrary to the memorandum of understanding signed with the government and the oil firm if they do not fulfil the demands of the demonstrators,” Thon added.

The agreement also stipulates that the development projects agreed upon must be implemented under the supervision of the Petroleum Ministry and a committee comprised of residents.

The Ministry of Petroleum and the company could not immediately be reached for comments.


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