TWO VIEWS OF SUDAN’S USE OF TALISMAN-GENERATED OIL REVENUES
July 1, 2000
Predictably, Talisman’s Jim Buckee has a rather different take on things, but let’s give him his say:
“[Khartoum’s portion of the oil revenues will go] to support agricultural infrastructure.”
Jim Buckee to the editorial board of The Globe and Mail, reported in The Globe and Mail, December 17, 1999
[Which leads naturally to a view of things reflected in earlier commentary: “Increasingly, Sudan is becoming a source of relative regional stability and we hope it will play an even greater role in the future.” Jim Buckee in The Ottawa Citizen, October 18, 1999]
The trouble with Buckee’s analysis is that it flies in the face of a great many contrary, and highly informed, views. Amnesty International declares bluntly in its report on oil development in Sudan: “There is a clear connection between the new-found oil wealth and the government [of Sudan’s] ability to purchase arms.”
This is a conclusion massively supported by the Harker Report, by the August 1998 Human Rights Watch report on arms transfers to Sudan–and most tellingly, by repeated statements emanating from Talisman’s business partner, the ruthless National Islamic Front regime in Khartoum.
Very recently, for example, there has been a significant updating of Hassan Turabi’s April 1998 declaration that oil revenues would be used to build factories for tanks and missiles to achieve a “final solution to the military problem” with the south:
News Article by AFP posted on July 01, 2000 at
10:38:57: EST (-5 GMT)
“Sudan to achieve self-sufficiency in weapons: spokesman”
KHARTOUM, July 1 (AFP) – ****Sudan will be capable of producing all the weapons and ammunition it needs by the end of the year thanks to its ***growing oil industry***, the armed forces spokesman said in remarks published Saturday.
***Khartoum***, which has been fighting a civil war against rebels
since 1983, “***will this year reach self-sufficiency in light, medium
and heavy weapons from its local production,”*** spokesman General Mohamed Osman Yassin was quoted as saying by Al-Share Al-Syasi newspaper.
Yassin told a gathering of student army conscripts that ***Sudan
was now manufacturing ammunition, mortars, tanks and armoured
personnel carriers,*** but he did not specify whether any foreign
expertise was involved.
He added that ***Sudan embarked on the military industry project
during its “unprecedented economic boom, particularly in the field
of ***oil exploration and exportation*** and the remarkable progress in light and heavy industries.”
Sudan began exporting crude oil last August and inaugurated a
refinery Friday which will produce butane gas for export.
News Article by REUTERS posted on June 16,
2000 at 07:31:23: EST (-5 GMT)
“Sudan’s Bashir to celebrate coup by producing arms”
KHARTOUM, June 16 (Reuters) President Omar Hassan al-***Bashir said Sudan would mark the eleventh anniversary of the coup that brought him to power by making its own weapons***, the independent al-Wifag newspaper said on Friday.
“***Sudan will celebrate the festival of the revolution this year with the production of tanks and heavy equipment by Sudanese hands***,” Bashir was quoted as saying during a public address on Thursday at Umruwaba province in Northern Kordofan state. The coup celebration is due on June 30.
Bashir did not say how Sudan would finance its weapon industry. ***Last August, Sudan began to export crude oil,*** but the sales’ proceeds are unclear. [They’re not unclear at all! Sudan has no other way to pay for weapons factories but oil revenues—ER]