[imc-qc] News - Reflections from PREDA and Fr. Shay Cullen, Philippines # 159

PREDA Information Office predair at info.com.ph
Tue Jan 4 16:40:49 PST 2005

Genocide in Darfur with the money of the oil tycoons
(republishing, copying, no restrictions)
By: Father Shay Cullen

How can we ignore the terrible images of the slaughter and genocide that is 
sweeping over the Sudan Darfur region? Here, small children die of 
starvation, bullet wounds, beating and burning. Their parents have been 
massacred and their villages burnt to blackened cinders. Their blood has 
been soaked by the desert sands. Who can be held accountable for all this 
and what can be done?

There is no war without the paymasters. They are the power brokers behind 
the atrocities, murder and mayhem that are being allowed to continue while 
the wealthy business interests lobby their governments to pressure the UN 
to go easy on the Arab government in Khartoum.

Sudan is a nation divided along ethnic and racial lines. The Arab 
government has an affinity with the Middle East, the people in the West and 
South are more racially identified with the African people and are mostly 
Christian too.

These impoverished minority groups have had enough of the poverty, plunder, 
domination and slave trading of the Sudanese in Khartoum for generations. 
They want autonomy and to benefit from their own natural wealth.

That is the crux of the problem, the wealth happens to be oil. Nations go 
to war over oil and corporations will help them, genocide or not, to get 
control of that precious commodity. Oil and gas is the root of so much 
murder, anarchy and rebellion in Iraq and the Sudan. This is the black gold 
that fuels our cars, drives our industry and heats our homes. Western 
wealth and industry depend on it.

That is why some governments and multinational corporations are supporting 
the Khartoum government that is unleashing the vicious genocidal Janjaweed 
militias to run wild, kill and burn with impunity. They aim to destroy any 
opposition so that Khartoum can control the vast oil reserves in the South 
and the Western Darfur region. Yet can we enjoy oil that is mixed with the 
blood of the poor, the refugees and the victims of the ongoing genocide? 
Europe ought to impose an oil embargo. Every five minuets one person dies 
as a consequence of the attacks and two million have been made homeless and 
on the verge of starvation, according to reports. Can our consciences be at 
peace this Christmas or any other time while genocide and mass killings 
continue? We must protest and speak out against it.

One quarter of the oil of China comes from Sudan and Russia. They worked 
together to block the United Nations security council from passing a 
resolution imposing sanctions or censoring the Sudan government. Do the 
multinationals supporting the Sudanese government also have innocent blood 
on their hands too?

These so called prestigious companies have paid out money to the Khartoum 
government in return for oil and other business that enables the government 
to arm the fierce militias and build up their own armed forces and even buy 
Mig jets-29s. The horror is continuing according to Human Rights Watch. 
Have these corporations something to answer for? Until they stop trading or 
giving money to Sudan I will never buy a German Siemens product like a cell 
phone, or insurance from ABB Ltd. of Switzerland, and I advise all to 
withdraw shares from Alcatel of France, ABB Ltd. of Switzerland, Tatneft of 
Russia and PetroChina. Allegedly they are the biggest supporters of the 
Sudanese government empowering and enabling it to oppress the minorities.

Amazingly the American oil and other corporations are not on this 
particular list of suspected collaborators in genocide. That's not because 
they found evangelical piety and a good conscience but on the contrary the 
evangelicals of America found them trading with Khartoum. They successfully 
lobbed George W. Bush to impose an oil embargo against Sudan and ban US 
corporations from trading with that government.

They are seething with hidden anger at Bush for giving into the demands of 
the evangelicals. But they were right to put their faith into practical 
political action to help the victims of oppression and genocide. Bush got 
the reward of their votes and was re-elected. They got some relief and a 
peace process for their Christian communities in the South. Yet many of 
them support the war in Iraq. What a contradiction. Are dead Christians in 
Sudan more valuable than dead Muslims in Iraq? It's unthinkable that such a 
judgment could be made yet it seems that way and it can't be right.

But Darfur remains in the throes of suffering as the killing goes on the UN 
dithers and the multinationals continue to support the trigger pulling 
militias with trade and political support to Khartoum. We are confronted 
with a challenge to act too we can support a boycott of the collaborators 
in genocide. [End]

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