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Carl Bildt, the foreign minister of Sweden, visited Croatia to make
an opening speech at the conference ”Further EU Enlargement in
South Eastern Europe – the road ahead,” hosted by the Institute
for Development and International Relations (IRMO). We must ask
publicly whether Bildt is really the best person to talk about the
peaceful future and the EU integration of countries with recent
history of war? Have we forgotten about his views on the history of
the region, and how he behaved in the past?

During the war in the
former Yugoslavia, Carl Bildt served as a Special Envoy from both the
EU and the UN, but did little or nothing to stop the killings he
witnessed. Have we forgotten how he watched Milošević’s back and
repeatedly stated that he was “a nice guy”? He did not
acknowledge the killings of civilians in Srebrenica, but called them
in his memoirs “the prisoners of war.” Carl Bildt repeatedly took
a stand as a witness at the ICTY in the cases connected to war
actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has not, in our opinion, done
enough to protect the victims of genocide in Srebrenica.

More recently, from
2000 to 2006, Bildt was on the board of the Lundin Petroleum (former
Lundin Oil) and is currently being investigated by the international
public prosecution office for crimes performed under international

In the report “Sudan,
Oil, and Human Rights” (2003),the Human Rights Watch elaborated
Petroleum’s wilful blindness to the devastation in the Block 5A,
southern Sudan, where 200 000 people were forcibly displaced and 10
000 murdered in order to ‘clear’ the area and give the Lundin
Petroleum and other oil companies clean access to the land.
Atrocities included killings, rape, child abduction, torture,
destruction of schools, markets and clinics, as well as burning of
huts and animal shelters. ECOS (European Coalition on Oil in Sudan)
states in their report “UNPAID DEBT: The Legacy of Lundin, Petronas
and OMV in Sudan, 1997-2003” (2010) that the beginning of oil
exploration in the Block 5A in Southern Sudan set off a spiral of
violence as the Sudanese government and its loyal forces set out to
secure and take control of the oil fields. War had been going on for
years in the area, but oil exploitation and export remainedthe main
objective and principal cause of the majority of war crimes. In its
report, ECOS is urging Sweden, Austria and Malaysia to investigate
whether the Lundin Petroleum (then Lundin Oil), in consortium with
the Petronasand OMV, were brakingthe international law between 1997
and 2003. The Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was on the Board of
Directors of the Lundin Petroleum at that time.

Atrocities similar to
those in Southern Sudan have also been committed in the Ogaden
province in Ethiopia, where Lundin Petroleum had been looking for oil
and receiving protection from the Ethiopian military. When Swedish
journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson went to Ogaden in 2011
and tried to find out more about the oil companies’ relation to the
war in the region, they were arrested, accused for terrorism and
sentenced to prison. The journalists spent 14 months in Ethiopian
prison before being released, and Carl Bildt was accused for not
doing enough to help out.

And as if this wasn’t
enough, Bildtis also known for being a well-paid lobbyist for the
Bush administrationand for pushing for the war on Iraq in 2003.

Before daring to speak
to others about peace, Carl Bildt should acknowledge all thewar
crimes he witnessed in the past and take responsibility for his own
involvement in war activities and devastation.


For the Human Rights

Sanja Sarnavka

President of the Board