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CSOs Challenge East African Court of Justice (EACJ) Judgement on EACOP 


11 December 2023, Nairobi: Following a disappointing judgement in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) late last month, civil society organisations challenging the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project have decided to appeal this decision.  

On 29 November 2023, the EACJ ruled in a case challenging the construction of the EACOP by Total Energies, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and the governments of Uganda and Tanzania. In its decision, EACJ deemed the filing of the case as time-barred. 

Considering these concerns, the applicants Natural Justice, Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT), Centre for Strategic Litigation (CSL), and Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) have decided to appeal after thoroughly reviewing the ruling handed down by the EACJ. After careful consideration, the CSOs firmly believe that the Justices of the EACJ Court of First Instance erred on various legal grounds. 

The CSOs remain steadfast in their commitment to upholding fairness, transparency, and environmental stewardship principles. The organisations assert that the issues raised in the case are paramount to the region and the global community. As such, the decision to appeal the judgement is crucial in seeking a more just and equitable resolution to the matters at hand. 

Throughout this legal process, CSOs will continue to advocate for protecting the environment, the rights of affected communities, and the adherence to legal principles. Natural Justice, Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT), Centre for Strategic Litigation (CSL) and Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) are confident that the appellate process will provide an opportunity to address the legal errors identified in the initial ruling. 

The CSOs call for continued public support and awareness regarding the implications of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline project. The organisation believes in the power of collective action and remains dedicated to pursuing justice through the appropriate legal channels. 

Our pursuit and commitment to environmental sustainability, social justice, and climate justice remain steadfast. The impact of EACOP directly and indirectly affects our people and biodiversity. We must transform our relationship with nature and how we govern and enable people’s participation in decisions that affect them. 

Farida Aliwa, Executive Director, Natural Justice 

What we seek in the Appellate Division is a fair hearing on whether the states of Uganda and Tanzania, along with the Secretary General of the East African Community, complied with their respective mandates as provided in the treaty. We are simply calling for the court to pronounce itself on whether the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline adheres to the environmental and human rights standards enshrined in the community’s laws for the benefit of current and future generations.

Deus Valentine Rweyemamu, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Strategic Litigation, (CSL), Tanzania.

“ Our commitment to justice, fairness, and environmental stewardship drives us to appeal and seek a more equitable resolution for our region and the global community. Together, we advocate for the environment, community rights, and legal principles, confident that the appellate process will rectify the legal errors identified. Your continued support and awareness are crucial in our collective pursuit of justice.”

Dickens Kamugisha, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) 

// ENDS  

Notes to editors:   

  • For more information about the case’s merits, please refer to this factsheet published by AFIEGO, CEFROHT and Natural Justice (2022). Court papers are available on request.  
  • Read an op-ed by Attorney Mark Odaga  
  • Read previous press releases here and here.  
  • Learn more about the StopEACOP Campaign.   

For media inquiries, contact:   

  • Salome Muiruri, Natural Justice, +254721480153  
  • Claire Martens, Natural Justice, +27 82 470 1187   
  • Diana Nabiruma, AFIEGO, +25 67 82 28 0073  
  • David Kabanda, CEFROHT,    
  • Odur Anthony, CSL +256772599462 

11 December 2023


Climate Change, Just Energy Transition, Land Rights, Litigation


Extractives and Infrastructure


Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

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