‘They attacked us. They displaced us’: grieving Sudanese confront Swedish oil giant over their days of slaughter

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A historic trial, which will call on 61 witnesses worldwide, is expected to set a precedent for global corporations in foreign jurisdictions

Before the arrival of Lundin Oil in the town of Leer, now part of South Sudan, life there was peaceful, says George Tai Kuony. His childhood was that of a “typical village boy”, driving cattle, helping his family and going to school. But in June 1998, when he was 15, armed forces entered the town and changed his life for ever.

He fled, became separated from his family and hid for seven days before he was able to return. “When we got there, Leer wasn’t the town I had left seven days ago,” says the 40-year-old lawyer and human rights defender. “Everything was burned down, everything was destroyed. I could see the bodies of dead people lying in the street.” As a result of the conflict, he lost his father, and later his mother and one sibling.

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