A report, obtained by SaharaReporters, condemns the actions of the Canadian company Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd.
The report, entitled Crude Exploitation, and written by Maria Fsadni, accuses Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd of purchasing oil and mineral assets worth billions from secessionist groups across sub-Saharan Africa from 2012 to 2014.
Among the nations listed were Angola, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. The report argues that the terms of these deals may incentivise violent conflict in these regions. For example, the deal struck in Cameroon included a clause requiring the separatist group to achieve “full independence” encouraged the separatist group to ignore peaceful methods of settling their grievances.
Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd argued that all funds they dispersed were earmarked for education, diplomacy, humanitarian, and legal purposes. However, Ms. Fsadni noted that several of the separatist movements which signed deals with Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd have violent histories.
According to the Crude Exploitation Report, the secretive nature of many of these dealings makes it exceedingly difficult to ascertain the true intentions of Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd or the separatist groups. The report also questioned the company’s ability to aid these groups in the development of their oil and mineral resources.
The possibility of other corporations following in the footsteps of Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd was also raised.
Ms. Fsadni called for Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd to release more information regarding their dealings with these separatist groups as well as all of the terms and conditions of these arrangements.
The full report can be viewed here.
The full press release of the report can be viewed below:
Listed company buys multibillion dollar oil assets from separatist movements
Publicly listed company, Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd, claims to have bought multimillion and multibillion oil assets from secessionist groups across sub-Saharan Africa in eight oil and mineral deals from 2012 to 2014. A report released this week reveals that these opaque agreements may be incentivising violent conflict in these regions and would deprive the potential independent states of much of the benefit of their natural resources.
The company has bought up rights to some of the most valuable mineral assets in the world in regions like the Angolan enclave of Cabinda and in Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. The company claims it is buying these rights from ‘governments’ of new states, in reality these groups are separatist movements who have yet to achieve independence or gain control over the assets they are selling.
Kilimanjaro Capital claims that funds are contractually earmarked for education, diplomacy, humanitarian and legal purposes with royalty funds being subject to audit and escrow requirements. However several of the separatist movements identified as signing deals with Kilimanjaro Capital have violent histories. In the case of Cameroon the requirement of the deal to achieve full independence incentivises the movement to ignore the peaceful alternatives recommended by the international community.
Kilimanjaro argues that this is a positive move for the countries involved, yet the identity of those they are buying rights from is often elusive or hidden, and the way they describe these partners misleading. This opacity raises concerns that private individuals could be benefiting at the expense of citizens.
There is also little evidence to indicate the company’s financial capability or expertise to develop oil and mineral resources. There is a lack of transparency around the terms and conditions of the agreements. It is unclear therefore what the company really intends to do with its assets if these movements were to achieve national independence.
This raises questions over whether these deals reflect the best interests of citizens in a potential newly founded state. It also raises the question of where the company’s money is being spent; whether it could be subsidising violence in these regions. These findings should be of concern to the international community as the company attempts to lay claim to some of the largest oil assets on the continent.
These questions can only be dispelled by making more information publicly available about this company, which individuals signed these deals and a full disclosure of all terms and conditions of these agreements.
“The fundamental question left is what is to stop other companies following Kilimanjaro? There is no clear legal precedent internationally, so apart from the obvious financial risks, what is to stop a company buying natural resources from a rebel movement and altering the course of history purely for its own profit?” says Maria Fsadni, author of the report.
“These questions can only be dispelled by making more information publicly available about this company, who they made deals with and a full disclosure of all the terms of these agreements,“ added Fsadni.
Editorial Note: An earlier version of our report incorrectly attributed authorship of the Crude Exploitation report to Global Witness. The present version is a corrected version of our original report.