THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
July 21, 2005
Los Angeles Times

Sudan's New Spending Plans Set Off Gold Rush

Would-be investors flock to the south, where an ambitious development program promises to yield lucrative contracts

by Edmund Sanders

. . . With a new peace deal between southern rebels and Khartoum and the July 9 inauguration of a coalition government, international donors are preparing to pump more than $2 billion into southern Sudan, a bleak, underdeveloped region still largely devoid of asphalt roads, running water and electricity.

A new semiautonomous southern government, led by the formerly rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement, plans to spend $1.5 billion more annually on construction, courtesy of an oil-revenue-sharing agreement with the north.

The giant development plan - one of the most ambitious in the world outside Iraq - is drawing an army of would-be investors, speculators and contractors, who are rushing to the designated southern capital, Rumbek, in search of opportunity. . . .

Oil giants including Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell Group, China National Petroleum Corp., Petronas of Malaysia and India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. have all had preliminary talks with SPLM officials, said one official in the organization.

Under the peace accord, the north and south will divide oil revenues equally, and new exploration will be approved by a joint commission. Sudan currently earns about $3 billion a year from oil production, which is expected to reach 500,000 barrels a day by year's end. . . .

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Enver Masud, "Sudan, Oil, and the Darfur Crisis," The Wisdom Fund, August 7, 2004

[The assessment would precede a World Bank plan to manage foreign donations for Sudan from two trust funds - one for the north and one for the south-- Lesley Wroughton, "World Bank returns to Sudan as donors plan comeback," Sudan Tribune, January 18, 2005]

Julie Flint, "Villagers in Sudan fight dam dictators," The Observer, July 24, 2005

[The gleaming oil refinery is the jewel of Sudan's oil boom, the mid-point of a 900-mile pipeline from the southern oilfields to the Red Sea that is projected to pump 500,000 barrels a day by the end of this year.--Declan Walsh, "Sudan at the head of a global sweep to mop up world's oil resources," Guardian, November 9, 2005]

[Now the UN is on to bigger things, like the re-colonization of Sudan under the rubric of "humanitarian intervention". As Noam Chomsky points out, "humanitarian intervention" was first invoked by the Fuehrer when he liberated Poland George Bush-style some 60 years ago.--Mike Whitney, "Beware Boltan's Sudden Humanitarianism," counterpunch.org, March 1, 2006]

[In 2005, they signed a peace accord that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war, which killed an estimated 2.2 million people - 10 times as many as in Darfur.--Jeffrey Gettleman, "Cracks in the Peace in Oil-Rich Sudan as Old Tensions Fester," New York Times, September 22, 2007]

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