China and US Discuss Darfur

There have been “positive” talks between the US and China about the Darfur crisis and peace between North and South Sudan.

In Beijing, US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration and China’s special representative for Darfur “discussed deepening US-China cooperation over shared concerns in Sudan”.

Many believe China’s support is key to ending the suffering in Sudan – with it being an “ally of the regime, military supplier, and importer of oil”.

Cooperation between the two countries will include maintaining communication and exchanging information.

Sudan’s oil woes

Aljazeera recently featured a story on Sudan’s oil woes.  Here are the highlights.

  • Sudan began exporting oil in 1999 and it now accounts for 65% of the country’s national budget.
  • Sudan’s economy grew at over 8% in 2007.  This year it will only be 4%.

In the nutshell “Sudan’s dissappearing fortunes, falling prices take a heavy toll on an economy that depends on its oil wells for its growth.”

Where have all these oil resources gone?  Agriculture is now at it’s worst.  Industry is in trouble.  Development projects have been financed through arrears and debt.

That is a great question.  Did it go towards genocide?

This is in stark contrast to the situation in 2007 when Sudan’s economy was ‘booming’ due to swelling oil revenues.  Here is an old report from Aljazeera.

I find it interesting that both these reports only vaguly allude to the ‘political troubles’ plaguing the country.

Oil Tensions Flare, Residents Flee

615Many have said that the fighting in Sudan is now under control. However, the recent events in the oil-rich town of Abyei prove that such a statement is premature and utterly false.

Clashes broke out between Northern soldiers and Southern police Friday, leaving at least one dead and several others injured. Gunshots continued to be heard throughout the weekend. However, no additional injury reports were filed.

90% of town residents fled out of fear for their safety and the possible rejuvenation of civil war tensions. Approximately 10,000 of those residents had just returned to Abyei after previously fleeing from local fighting.

After moving forward slightly, these individuals are now back to the starting line on the road to rebuilding their lives and restoring some sense of stability.