[Marxism] West After Sudan's Oil And Gold: Khartoum

David Quarter davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Fri Aug 13 09:34:25 MDT 2004


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_13-8-2004_pg4_2

Reuters
August 12, 2004

Sudan says West after country’s oil and gold 


-“This highlife that they (the West) enjoy now is a
result of the theft of the colonies and their riches
and peoples,” he added with specific reference to
Britain, which granted Sudan independence in 1956. 
Sudan’s two main oil fields are in the south and
Khartoum is hopeful of more oil discoveries in
Africa’s largest country. The budding oil-producer
earns about $2 billion a year from oil output of about
300,000 barrels per day. 



KHARTOUM - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on
Thursday accused Western nations of interfering in its
troubled western Darfur region to try to exploit
Sudan’s gold and oil resources. 

Sudan is under intense international pressure to rein
in Arab militias, accused of looting and burning
African farming villages, and provide security for
more than 1 million people displaced by the fighting
in the remote area bordering Chad. 

If not, the UN Security Council in a July 30
resolution says Khartoum could face unspecified
sanctions. There has also been talk of possible
foreign troop intervention in Darfur. Bashir on
Thursday said Western nations, especially Britain,
were inflaming the Darfur fighting to destabilise
wider Sudan. 

“There is an agenda to seek for petrol and gold in the
region,” he told a women’s union meeting on Darfur in
Khartoum on Thursday. 

“This highlife that they (the West) enjoy now is a
result of the theft of the colonies and their riches
and peoples,” he added with specific reference to
Britain, which granted Sudan independence in 1956. 

Sudan’s two main oil fields are in the south and
Khartoum is hopeful of more oil discoveries in
Africa’s largest country. The budding oil-producer
earns about $2 billion a year from oil output of about
300,000 barrels per day. 

Chad, which neighbours the Darfur region, has in
recent years begun to exploit its oil reserves and
analysts say that oil could also be present in Sudan.
Sudan and rebels from the south have agreed a plan to
end 21 years of civil war affecting the south. But a
fresh conflict arose in the west of the country along
the border with Chad in February last year. 

Two rebel groups accused Khartoum of neglect and of
arming the Arab militias known as Janjaweed to drive
African farmers from their lands in campaign of ethnic
cleansing in Darfur. The US Congress has dubbed the
violence a “genocide”. Sudan denies the charges saying
the Janjaweed, a term derived from the Arabic for
devils on horseback, are outlaws. 

The rebels said on Thursday they would attend African
Union sponsored peace talks in Nigeria at the end of
the month to find a political solution to the conflict
the UN estimates has claimed about 50,000 lives. But
both groups expressed problems with the Aug 23. date. 

“We thought we could have been sufficiently consulted
before fixing the date in particular but nevertheless
we will go,” said Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)
spokesman Ali Trayo from Asmara. 

Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, secretary-general of the
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the other main
rebel group said: “Yes, we are going to the talks, but
we have some remarks about the time they decided
because we have a conference in Germany at same time.”


“Because of that we want to postpone the time,” he
added. 

The SLA also said the date gave them little time to
organise and inform their movement commanders
scattered throughout Darfur, a remote area the size of
France. 

The UN says the conflict has triggered the world’s
worst humanitarian crisis with about 200,000 refugees
in neighbouring Chad and 2 million short of food and
medicine. 

The world body said on Tuesday Sudan was still
imposing some restrictions on aid flights causing
“major delays” in the deployment of aid workers. 



		




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