The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

December 14, 2022

Reuters: US Senate passes Sudan divestment bill. Despite Bush administration opposition, the U.S. Senate gave a green light to a grass-roots effort urging investors to withdraw their funds from companies doing business in Sudan because of violence in its Darfur region. The Senate approved legislation on Wednesday letting U.S. state and local governments, as well as mutual funds and private pension funds, divest their investments in companies involved in four Sudanese business sectors including its oil industry. Activists have pressed investors to divest their holdings in companies such as PetroChina Co. Ltd (0857.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), whose parent company, China National Petroleum Corp, is helping Sudan drill for oil. Malaysia's state-owned Petronas [PETR.UL] and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd ONGC.Bo are also targets. U.S.-based Capital Research & Management Co, Lazard Asset Management Co Ltd, and Blackstone Asia Advisors Ltd, were among the top 10 largest institutional holders of ONGC shares as of the end of September, according to Reuters Company Views. The same data base showed Capital Research & Management Co, Barclays Global Investors NA and Vanguard Group, Inc were among the top 10 investors in PetroChina Co. Ltd. joined by units of California-based Franklin Templeton Investments and FMR Corp, better known as Fidelity Investments. The bill, aimed at pressuring the Sudan government to end the violence in Darfur, now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives, where a vote is expected soon. The Save Darfur Coalision says the Sudanese government uses up to 70 percent of its oil revenues, generated mainly through foreign direct investment, to give arms and supplies to the Janjaweed militia accused of the killings in Darfur. The Sudan Divestment Task Force, based in Washington, D.C., coordinates much of the activities, providing research on Sudan-linked companies to investors and supporting campaigns at the university, state and local levels.

Agence France Presse: US envoy threatens Sudan with UN sanctions over Darfur force. The US envoy to the UN on Thursday threatened Sudan with additional sanctions if it continued to drag its feet on allowing the deployment of 26,000 UN-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur. "There has been a record of the Sudanese government dragging its feet in implementing agreements," Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters after Security Council consultations on the stalled deployment of the force known as UNAMID in the strife-torn Sudanese region. If Khartoum fails to quickly allow the inclusion of crucial Thai, Nepalese and Scandinavian units to bolster UNAMID, he said the 15-member Security Council would have to consider further action. "The range of options or instruments include imposition of additional sanctions," he warned. Other threatened measures are an extension of the existing UN arms embargo in Darfur to the whole of Sudan or imposing a no-fly zone over Darfur. In May, Washington had also announced stricter unilateral sanctions, barring more companies, including oil exporters, from US trade and financial dealings, and targeting two top Sudanese government officials. Khalilzad spoke after UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed the council on his talks regarding UNAMID with Sudanese officials in Lisbon last weekend on the sidelines of a European Union-AU summit. "As of today we have not received any official answer from the government of Sudan regarding these three (Thai, Nepalese and Scandinavian) contingents yet," said Mulet. He also said UNAMID still lacked 24 transport and attack helicopters crucial for the force's air mobility and firepower.

Agence France Presse: Spielberg urges China again to help end Darfur 'genocideLegendary film director Steven Spielberg has appealed to Chinese President Hu Jintao for a second time to use China's influence over Sudan to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. In a November 15 letter to Hu released Thursday, Spielberg, who is serving as an artistic advisor for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said the situation in Darfur had deteriorated since he last wrote him in April. "So I write to you now with a renewed sense of urgency in the hope that China will redouble its efforts to pressure Sudan to join in a fair peace agreement and, at last, bring an end to the genocide," he wrote. Spielberg urged China to contribute much needed helicopters and heavy transport vehicles for the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission and to press Sudan to stop delaying the force's deployment. "China's economic, military and diplomatic ties to the government of Sudan continue to provide you with the influence and the obligation to press for change," he wrote. "Without China's insistence, I fear Sudan will simply 'wait out the clock,'" Spielberg wrote in the letter released by his office. Spielberg has been calling for China to press Sudan ever since coming under heavy criticism in March from US actress and UNICEF Goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow for not speaking out about Darfur while helping the Beijing Olympics. "I believe the decisive hour for Darfur is now," Spielberg wrote in last month's letter to Hu. "The world needs China to lead here," he wrote. "So many lives are at stake."


The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition.  To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].


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