[OPE-L:6060] Fwd: [BRC-NEWS] Sudan and Oil

From: Patrick L. Mason (pmason@garnet.acns.fsu.edu)
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 17:07:04 EDT

Although this article overly simplifies the nature of racial/ethnic 
conflict in the Sudan, it does provide some insight on why the Sudanese 
government is happy to cooperate with the US.

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>Subject: [BRC-NEWS] Sudan and Oil
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>Date: Sun,  9 Sep 2001 20:19:42 -0400 (EDT)
>News & Letters
>July 2001
>Black/Red View
>Sudan and Oil
>By John Alan
>For over 18 years a brutal civil war has been fought in
>Sudan between the ruling Arabic speaking Muslims of the
>north and the indigenous Black Sudanese living in the south.
>The most recent economic reason for this conflict was the
>unilateral decision, of the ruling northern Sudanese
>government in Khartoum to sell concessions to Western and
>Asian oil corporations to drill for oil in Sudan.
>Nature had placed Sudan's rich crude petroleum areas in
>southern Sudan. To validate its agreement with multinational
>oil corporations, the Khartoum regime sent in troops to
>clear and protect those areas from any opposition by
>southern Sudanese. According to a recent Amnesty
>International report, the Arabic Khartoum regime has used
>ground attacks, helicopter gunships and indiscriminate
>high-altitude bombardment to clear the local population from
>oil rich areas.
>This massive displacement of the local population was
>followed in the last decade by the deployment of additional
>weaponry and forces, specifically drafted to protect the oil
>fields. The military tactics of the government's security
>force destroyed harvests and looted livestock as it occupied
>the area to prevent the return of the displaced population.
>This scorched earth policy has caused the death of more than
>2 million people and has uprooted another 4.4 million, many
>of whom may die from famine.
>There is a long list of multinational oil corporations now
>holding oil drilling concessions in Sudan. Among the major
>ones we find the Great Nile Petroleum and Oil Corporation
>(GNPOC) with a concession to drill for oil in two areas.
>GNPOC's main partner is the China National Petroleum
>Corporation (CNPC), owned by the People's Republic of China.
>The CNPC owns a 40% share in this project. Other major
>shareholders are the Malaysian state-owned Petronas which
>has a 30% stake in Canada's Talisman Energy, and Sudapet,
>the national petroleum company of Sudan, which has a 5%
>The above is only a small list of corporations now
>benefiting from drilling for oil in Sudan. More information
>about their interlocking share holdings and the selling of
>their stock on Wall Street can be found in the Amnesty
>International On-Line Report (June 23, 2001.)
>It is also public knowledge that Khartoum's take from oil
>concessions is $500 million annually. This will climb
>steeply, once the oil corporations have recovered their
>risk. This will undoubtedly tip the war in the favor of the
>Khartoum government. It has given that government the
>ability to garrison the main roads and the oil fields armed
>to the teeth with tanks and helicopters to fight the
>People's Liberation Army in Southern Sudan.
>Another appalling thing about Sudan's war, is its racist
>dimension. This can't be ignored. On one side is Arab
>authoritarian power and on the other side are sub-Saharan
>African masses fighting for freedom.
>Eric Reeves, in an article for the June issue of THE NATION,
>put this race division on the table when he wrote: "The
>National Islamic Front looks to the Islamic and Arabic world
>for culture and racial identity. Moreover its view of the
>Nilotic and Equatorian peoples of the south is animated by a
>vicious racism. The most common term of designation in
>Arabic is ABID, which translates almost exactly as 'n----r.'
>Such attitudes do much to explain why Khartoum has actively
>abetted a modern slave trade, directed against racially
>'African' people of the South."
>The above depiction of Arabs in Sudan as racist in no way
>means that Arabs are inherently racist, but, like the racist
>European, they become racist in the process of exploitation
>of African labor and natural resources. What Sudan tells us
>today is that the inherent drive of capitalism to accumulate
>an infinite amount of capital, if left unchecked, can lead
>to genocide. In other words, racism is a manifestation of
>the utter subordination and the alienation of labor in the
>process of capital accumulation.
>Sudan also tells us, as Raya Dunayevskaya wrote in 1973,
>"that political independence does not mean economic
>dependence has ended, but on the contrary, the ugly head of
>neo-imperialism then first appears. Yet equally crucial were
>the new divisions that arose between the leaders and the led
>once national independence was achieved. At the same time
>new divisions also arose between Arab leadership and the
>'uneducated masses.' Whether we look at Zanzibar, which did
>succeed in overthrowing its Arab rulers, or to the southern
>Sudan, which had not, the need remained the same: a second
>Today, oil and more oil is the "ugly head" of
>neo-imperialism. To get new sources of oil animates a large
>part of the planning and the politics of the George W. Bush
>administration. Overcoming that retrogression is the task
>for revolutionaries in this country as we confront our own
>unfinished revolution and new forms of exploitation and
>Copyright (c) 2001 News & Letters. All Rights Reserved.
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