The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

September 5, 2023

Boston Globe: Darfur activists to prod 4 more mutual fund firms. Expanding their criticism of US mutual fund holdings tied to Sudan's regime, activists today plan to target four more companies in hopes they will follow the lead of Fidelity Investments and sell their stakes of companies that do business there. The companies include some of the world's largest mutual fund complexes, including Vanguard Group Inc. of Pennsylvania and the American Funds, run from California. In addition, activists say they still aim to pressure Fidelity of Boston, which in May disclosed it had sold many shares in PetroChina Co. Ltd. but said the sales were not a coordinated response to the criticism. Holdings in PetroChina, the Beijing oil company, have become a flashpoint in the debate over the support Sudan's rulers have given to brutal militias whose campaigns the US government has labeled a genocide and blamed for many deaths in the country's Darfur region. PetroChina parent China National Petroleum Corp. is one of the Khartoum government's chief foreign investors and has drawn wide criticism from human rights groups. Until now activists had declined to say whether they would continue to target Fidelity with critical advertising. But Fidelity still owned about $608 million in PetroChina as of Aug. 1 through various US and internationally based funds, the activists now estimate based on public filings on several exchanges. "We're still targeting them because they haven't fully divested," said Zahara Heckscher, campaign manager for the Save Darfur Coalition in Washington, whose member organizations include major large religious groups, the NAACP, and the AFL-CIO. "We're asking them to do the same thing we're asking the others." In addition to pressuring Fidelity, she said the coalition soon will run print and television advertisements, gather petition signatures, and take other steps to pressure Vanguard, American, and the two largest domestic mutual fund families it found invested in PetroChina, Franklin Resources Inc., with an estimated $1.7 billion, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., with an estimated $1.6 billion.

Reuters: U.N. Chief In Darfur Urges Political Progress. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Darfur region of western Sudan on Wednesday, promising to step up pressure for a political solution to the conflict. Ban told journalists he would push for progress in peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebel groups, while laying the ground for deployment of a 26,000-strong "hybrid" force of U.N. and African Union peacekeepers. "I am really going to step up this political negotiation process," Ban said just before arriving in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. "The hybrid troop process should be accompanied by a political process. Otherwise our peacekeepers or police or civilian workers will have a lot of difficulty in carrying out their roles," he said. A senior U.N. official traveling with Ban said there had been progress in finalizing arrangements to fly a sick Darfur rebel out of Sudan to receive medical treatment in Kenya. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir gave Ban a pledge on Monday that the rebel official, Suleiman Jamous, would be able to leave effective house arrest as soon as arrangements could be made. "He has a new passport and we are in the process of getting him a Kenyan visa," the official said. Late on Tuesday, Sudanese state media reported that Bashir had appointed his close adviser Nafie Ali Nafie as the government's new chief negotiator for Darfur. Nafie Ali Nafie replaces the formidable Majzoub al-Khalifa, who died in a car crash on the way to a family funeral in June. The international aid group Oxfam on Wednesday called on Ban to press the Sudanese government for an immediate ceasefire. Mohammed Elmi, Oxfam's regional program manager, said: "One month after a UN Resolution called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, its demands are falling on deaf ears.

Associated Press: Israel: Some From Darfur Can Be Citizens. Israel will grant citizenship to some of the estimated 300 refugees from Sudan's violence-ridden Darfur region who have already arrived here, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit said Wednesday. Sheetrit said he would work with the United Nations to set a quota of refugees who would be naturalized. While he estimates the number of Darfur refugees at 300, other government officials and refugee advocates have put the number at between 400 and 500. Human rights groups and high-profile figures such as Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel have urged the Israeli government to give Darfurians a home. But others say the Darfur refugees who have arrived in Israel are economic migrants because they already found sanctuary from Sudan in Egypt. They fear that accepting some refugees will lead to a flood of new arrivals. Sheetrit offered a middle ground. ''Israel, with its history, must offer assistance,'' he said. ''It can't stand by and shut its eyes. But a quota must be set.'' It wasn't clear what would happen to those who do not receive citizenship.


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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