As the new US President, George W. Bush can accelerate the process of bringing peace to Sudan his first day in office. He can declare that under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (the authority by which President Clinton imposed comprehensive economic sanctions against Sudan in 1997) the United States will impose capital market sanctions against all oil companies participating in Sudan’s war-sustaining Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company.
Advocates for peace in Sudan, from all quarters, should vigorously lobby their Congressional representatives to urge President-elect Bush to do just this in his Inaugural Address on January 20th (a website with the building addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for all US Senators and Representatives appears below).
Eric Reeves [December 20, 2000]
Northampton, MA 01063
The Sudan Peace Act as recently passed by the House of Representatives (and as originally introduced in the Senate) contains explicit provision for such capital market sanctions. The intent is to de-list from the New York Stock Exchange those companies complicit in the immense and ongoing human suffering and destruction in southern Sudan. The Sudan Peace Act should be passed, with capital market sanctions against oil companies in Sudan, as soon as possible in the new session of the Congress. Meanwhile, President Bush should use his IEEPA authority to impose those sanctions pending legislative action.
Who would be affected? The two companies—both foreign nationals—who are most responsible for the oil development which has been repeatedly implicated in exacerbating and intensifying civil war in Sudan: Talisman Energy of Canada and PetroChina, a virtually wholly owned subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. (a 40% partner in Sudan’s Greater Nile project). The scorched-earth warfare against civilians that serves as “security” for Talisman and China National Petroleum Corp. has been amply documented by Amnesty International, by the UN Special Rapporteurs for Sudan, by Human Rights Watch, by the Canadian foreign ministry, and by numerous others.
Moreover, all revenues from the huge oil project go directly to the Khartoum regime—one party in the civil war, and the overwhelmingly culpable party in continuing the war, and the military devastation of the peoples of the south.
If President Bush imposes capital market sanctions, stripping Talisman Energy and PetroChina of their New York Stock Exchange listings, these companies will be confronted with the starkest of choices: stay in Sudan and see the value of their shares plummet with NYSE de-listing—or withdraw from Sudan, thereby sending a blunt message to the Khartoum regime: “make peace, negotiate in good faith, or see your oil development project wither.”
For Khartoum is desperate for foreign investment, foreign expertise and technology, and skilled labor. If capital market sanctions are imposed by President Bush, then expansion of the oil development concession areas, repairs, further capitalization, augmenting pumping capacity—all would be badly compromised.
Moreover, the Chinese are especially vulnerable to such sanctions, and hence susceptible to being pressured by the US to use their enormous influence with Khartoum to push assertively for peace. The Chinese have over one hundred “initial public offerings” (IPO’s) that they hope to bring to the US capital markets. They desperately need to help their massively under-capitalized industrial behemoths. For if the Chinese are to compete domestically under World Trade Organization terms they’ve committed to (now that the US has granted them Permanent Normal Trade Relations), then they must first find the capital to make these behemoths viable in a truly competitive environment.
Capital market sanctions directed against Chinese complicity in Sudan’s oil-driven destruction will again present a stark choice: “help us work for peace in Sudan, or expect to see that you will have enormous difficulties in the US capital markets—difficulties which you clearly cannot afford!”
Let your elected representatives know that you want them to pass legislation which contains capital market sanctions against oil companies complicit in the destruction of Sudan—and that you want them to lobby vigorously for President Bush to impose such sanctions immediately on taking office.
If you don’t have all the coordinates for your elected officials, they can be found at: