Sudan: Empty Words Versus Deadly Bullets

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July 16, 2007: Pressure continues on governments, organizations and individuals to "divest" themselves of investments in Sudan and companies that do business in Sudan. The pressure has been particularly intense in the US and Great Britain, but several European countries, Australia, and Canada also have vocal activists urging companies to divest and/or withdraw from operations in Sudan. So far 18 US states have withdrawn state funds (usually pension money) from Sudan. California and Texas are among those states - the two most populous states. As usual the academies are in the act. Dozens of universities have passed resolutions that either promise divestment or restrict the way university funds may be invested in companies doing business in Sudan. Banks are receiving increasing attention. These campaigns can add economic pressure, but mostly serve a publicity function. China, for example, gets very riled when activists suggest an Olympic boycott. China buys lots of oil from Sudan. The ultimate goal, of course, is to squeeze the Sudanese government. Meanwhile, millions of Sudanese live in Darfur and Chad refugee camps, and pro-government militia continue to loot and pillage their way across Darfur.

July 14, 2007: Several Darfur rebel groups have formed a new "united" political and resistance organization. It's called the United Front for Liberation and Development (UFLD). Eritrea helped sponsor the negotiations among rebel groups.

July 10, 2007: As part of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF, ie, national military forces loyal to Khartoum) units in south Sudan were supposed to have withdrawn from parts of that region. Several "northern" units remain in areas they were supposed to vacate by July 9. Moreover, south Sudanese allege that the Sudanese Armed Forces still control militias in the region. Many of the remaining SAF units are located in or near oil fields. According to the CPA, joint North-South units are supposed to patrol those areas.

July 9, 2007: Is trouble about to break out in northern Sudan? Nubians living in northern Sudan believe the government plans to build a water reservoir that will flood their land. A number of protests have broken out in the area. In the town of Farreeg, four demonstrators were allegedly killed on June 13. There are about two million Nubians in Sudan. Many of them are Christians. Some Nubians live across the border, in southern Egypt.

 

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