The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

October 10, 2023

Washington Post: Darfur Mission Lacks Tools, U.N. Says. Even as nearly two dozen countries are signing up to send thousands of peacekeepers to Darfur, a U.N.-backed force deploying there still lacks crucial equipment, a shortfall that could threaten the viability of the mission, according to senior U.N. officials. The shortages gained urgency this month as the United Nations rejected a Jordanian offer to supply 10 transport and attack helicopters to reinforce the new African Union-U.N. peacekeeping mission in Darfur. They said the aircraft are too small, lack night-vision technology and cannot travel long distances required in the mission, according to U.N. and Jordanian officials. The action represents a significant setback for U.N. efforts to send more than 26,000 peacekeepers to replace a smaller African Union mission of 7,000. It also underscores the difficulties faced by U.N. planners who are seeking to cobble together a force for Darfur drawn primarily from 19 poor countries in Africa and other parts of the developing world. On Sept. 29, rebel forces reportedly destroyed an African Union compound in a remote region of South Darfur, killing 10 A.U. peacekeepers near the town of Haskanita. U.N. officials say that the helicopters are designed to prevent such attacks. "We see those assets as really critical for us to avoid the kind of disaster that took place in Haskanita," U.N. Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno said in an interview Tuesday. "So we will be pressing all around the world: African countries, non-African countries" for the helicopters. The United States has made clear it will not provide the helicopters, and Sudan's ambassador, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, said U.S. pilots would not be allowed to participate in the mission. U.N. military planners have urged South Africa to supply helicopters, but Pretoria has demurred, limiting its commitment to a battalion of 800 infantry troops.

Associated Press: Sudan Army Denies Darfur Attack. The Sudanese military denied Tuesday that government forces carried out an attack on a rebel-controlled town in Darfur that international observers said left dozens of people wounded. Rebels and observers said the Sudanese army and its allied janjaweed militia unleashed a large offensive Monday on the South Darfur town of Muhajeria -- fighting that could pose a blow to talks due later this month in Libya aimed at finding peace for Darfur. One rebel group said at least 48 people were killed in Monday's attack, although that could not be independently confirmed. Sudanese army spokesman Brig. Osman Mohamed Aghbash said the violence in Muhajeria was between tribes and the government military was not involved. ''What has occurred was fighting between tribes in the area, and the armed forces have nothing to do with it,'' he said in a statement Tuesday. He did not identify the tribes. Seif Haroun, a spokesman in Khartoum for the Sudanese Liberation Movement faction belonging to rebel leader Minni Minawi, which controls Muhajeria, said Tuesday that 48 people were killed. ''Some of the dead are SLM (fighters), but most are old men and women, and children,'' Haroun told The Associated Press by phone. ''The janjaweed pulled out five sheiks (tribal leaders) from a mosque and executed them.'' Haroun has accused Khartoum of trying to undermine the group ahead of the Oct. 27 peace talks and boost the government's position.

BBC: MSF pull out of town in Darfur. The medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres has pulled 16 staff out of a Sudanese rebel-controlled town in south Darfur after fierce fighting this week. MSF said its staff left after patients fled the only hospital in Muhajiriya and mortar fire intensified on Tuesday. MSF said the evacuation means that local people are now in urgent need of medical care. The SLA had earlier said the fighting came as "a stab in the back" for their alliance with Khartoum. The London-based human rights organisation said it had received credible reports that the Sudanese army was close to the towns of Kornoy, Um Baru, Kutum and Tine in northern Darfur.

Bloomberg: Buffett Reports Cutting PetroChina Stake for 5th Time. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported cutting its PetroChina Co. stake for the fifth time after the stock gained sevenfold since the billionaire first invested in China's largest oil producer. Berkshire sold 66.614 million shares, worth a total of HK$798.7 million ($106 million), at an average HK$11.99 on Sept. 21, reducing its interest in the Beijing-based company to 6.97 percent of the stock not controlled by the Chinese government, a Hong Kong stock exchange filing showed today. Buffett has sold 868.36 million PetroChina shares this year, according to calculations based on stock exchange filings and Berkshire's annual report. Berkshire bought its stake for less than HK$1.70 a share in April 2003. Activists have urged investors to sell out of PetroChina because of links to Sudan, whose government is accused by the U.S. of supporting genocide. PetroChina is controlled by state-owned China National Petroleum Corp., which has been developing oil fields since 1996 in Sudan, where 200,000 people have died and 2 million made homeless in the civil war in the western Darfur region. The Save Darfur Coalition on Sept. 5 called on funds including Fidelity Investments, Vanguard Group and American Funds to sell their PetroChina stakes. PetroChina shares fell 3.4 percent to HK$14.10 by the end of trading in Hong Kong. This is the fifth time since July that Buffett has disclosed to the Hong Kong exchange that he has sold PetroChina shares.

Associated Press: Thailand will send 800 troops to Darfur on peacekeeping mission. Thailand will send 800 troops to Darfur to join a peacekeeping operation in the war-torn region of western Sudan by the end of the year, a government spokesman said Wednesday. Thailand's Cabinet approved a plan Tuesday to send one battalion of 800 troops on a one-year mission to the United Nations and African Union joint mission to Darfur by Dec. 31, said government spokesman Chaiya Yimwilai. "Thailand is well-equipped to join the UNAMID mission, both in terms of personnel and equipment, in order to support the U.N.'s role to maintain international peace and security," Chaiya said. The joint U.N.-AU force in Darfur is to be comprised of more than 19,000 military personnel, 6,000 police officers and 5,500 civil personnel. The troop-contributing countries include Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Bangladesh, Jordan, Nepal and Thailand.

CBS 5 San Mateo: Group Targets San Mateo Firm For Darfur Divestment. In the past four years, 200,000 people have been killed in the genocide occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan, another 2.5 million have been displaced. Now activists are trying a new approach to pressure the Sudanese government to stop the bloodshed. Through an advertising campaign, a humanitarian group [sic] is convincing investors to put their money where their values. The group has targeted Franklin Templeton investments of San Mateo, which has invested in a Chinese oil company that is operating in Sudan. Please follow the link above to view the clip of the segment.

San Mateo Daily Journal: Franklin targeted for investment in Darfur. San Mateo-based Franklin Templeton Investments is being accused of investing in genocide in the latest campaign by the humanitarian group [sic], Save Darfur. Divest for Darfur, a project of Save Darfur, wants five major U.S. investment groups — Franklin Templeton, JP Morgan Chase, Capital Group/American Funds, Fidelity and Vanguard — to dump the stock of PetroChina Co., an affiliate of China National Petroleum Corp. The large Chinese energy company finances oil drilling in Sudan, providing a major revenue source for the African nation. Sudan’s government is widely criticized for suppressing a rebel movement in the western region of Darfur, resulting in the killing and displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians. The group recently bought every available advertising space at the Montgomery BART station in San Francisco and launched a national television ad that takes specific aim at Franklin Templeton. The commercial depicts a financial advisor speaking with a couple about their investments. “You took a little hit in real estate, but more than made up for it in genocide. You’re really making a killing Darfur,” the advisor tells the couple in the commercial. Franklin Templeton has approximately a $1.5 billion stake in PetroChina, according to Save Darfur. The group sent a letter to Franklin Templeton, allowing it to dispute its figures. Franklin Templeton did not respond to the letter, claiming that all such figures are a matter of public input, Gallegos said.


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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