By Nancy Okenagwa
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has issued an injunction to the government, the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) and Dar Petroleum Operating Company Ltd restricting operations and the exportation of oil due to spillage that has polluted the environment in certain parts of South Sudan.
This comes after a Non- Governmental Organization known as Hope for Humanity Africa (H4HA) successfully applied to EACJ accusing GPOC and Dar Petroleum Ltd of causing oil spills through leakage that happens in the pipeline that has instigated environmental pollution in Northern, North West and the Upper Nile State areas.
As a result, South Sudan’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ruben Madoi Aroi has been served with a temporary court order paralyzing the operations of the two companies until further notice.
In a statement, EACJ acknowledged that those represented by H4HA would be adversely affected if the restriction was not granted saying that such an issue is a subject that is widely debated across the globe including matters pertaining to environmental protection, sustainable development, environmental rule of law and the responsibility that the state has in policy formulation in subjects concerning the environment and natural resources.
H4HA claims that the spillage will pollute the Nile and other seasonal rivers that are the source of water to the citizens as well as animals.
The NGO is said to as well have sought a restraining order to stop the two companies from pumping crude oil into the field processing facilities owned by GPOC in the Unity State and Dar Petroleum Ltd in the Upper Nile State where the South Sudan government is a shareholder claiming that the sites are too old.
The allegations by the NGO are said to be based on the evidence acquired from journalist Joseph Oduha and a human rights lawyer Wani Santino Jada of Pan African Law Chambers in Juba.