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«Human Rights Watch Brussels London New York Washington, D.C. Copyright © 2003 by Human Rights Watch. All rights reserved. Printed in the United ...»

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1046 International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 1999-2000 (London: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 275Foreign Ministry official reacts to press report on arms from Bulgaria,” SUNA, Khartoum, January 31, 2000. Undersecretary of the Ministry of External Relations Dr. Hasan Abdin categorically denied a report published by al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper on January 28, 2000 that Sudan had concluded a secret arms deal with Bulgaria. He called the report “totally untrue and baseless.”

355Human Rights Watch

government of Sudan. Bulgarian authorities opened an investigation into the alleged transfers.1048 The deals reportedly involved supplies of spare parts and other equipment to Sudan.1049 The company said all the transfers were in connection with an approved contract to help build an arms factory in Sudan, but Bulgarian officials said that contract should have been completed and any new transfers were illegal.1050 Sudan is subject to an E.U. embargo that Bulgaria has pledged to follow.1051 The Bulgarian government issued a decree, effective April 13, 2001, banning arms sales to twenty countries, including to Sudan.1052 The decree covers sale and supply of armaments and equipment of any kind, including arms and ammunition, military means of transportation, spare parts and military assistance and training of military personnel 1053 Government Revenue from Oil, Development Applications?

The government continued to say that the oil revenues were used for development projects, but also continued to admit using oil revenue for the war effort. In June 2001, Talisman CEO Jim Buckee, on a visit to Sudan, said that Sudan’s finance minister, Abdel Rahim Jamdi, had told him that 50 percent of the oil proceeds were used for repaying Sudan’s foreign debts and the remainder paid salaries of government employees and development projects.1054 A statement issued by the Sudan attaché in Cairo said, “Ten southern states receive aid under the Emergency Programme for the Southern States, aimed at refurbishing infrastructure and providing basic 1048 “Bulgaria Has Issued No Export Permits for Embargoed Countries,” Capital Weekly (Sofia), May 29, 2002; “Beta Claiming Millions in Debt from Sudan,” PARI Daily (Sofia), May 22, 2002.

1049 “Bulgaria Has Issued No Export Permits…,” Capital Weekly.

1050 Ibid.; “Beta Claiming Millions…,” PARI Daily.

1051 “Bulgaria Stops Arms Sales for 20 Countries,” Bulgarian Press Digest, April 6, 2001.

1052 Ibid.

1053 Ibid.

1054 “Canada’s Talisman vows to continue oil operations in Sudan,” AFP, Khartoum, June 4, 2001.

356Human Rights Consequences of Oil Development

services.” The statement disclosed that Sudan spent 930 million Sudanese dinars (U.S. $ 3.6 million) in the first six months of 2001 on this program, and anticipated spending 1.9 billion Sudanese dinars (U.S. $

7.36 million) on this during the second half of 2001, a total of about 2.83 billion dinars (almost U.S. $ 11 million). 1055 Considering that the ten southern mini-states were to divide that money for development among themselves, on average they would receive about U.S. $ 1.1 million each, a rather paltry amount.

If the projected 2.83 billion dinars (U.S. $ 11 million) were actually spent, that would mean that the government spent about 0.7 percent of its total expenditures or 1.9 percent of its oil income in 2001 on development projects for the south..

A comparison of the amounts to be spent on southern development and military expenditures for 2001 reveals that the southern development budget is only 3.1 percent of the military expenditures.

A director of the pro-government think tank in Khartoum, the Centre for Strategic Studies, said Sudan “would not and should not” swear off using oil proceeds to fight the rebels, as the country was constantly under attack by these forces.1056 IMF Audits The Auditor General completed the first audit of the Sudanese state petroleum company (Sudapet)’s oil revenues and the government’s oil revenues at the end of 2001, covering mid-1999 to the end of 2000 (the first year and four months of oil export).1057 It appears that the IMF staff suggestions for changes to the Sudanese government’s and Sudapet’s accounting for oil revenue were made as a result of the first audit, in order to increase transparency.1058 1055 “Sudan says foreign oil revenues do not finance war,” Reuters, Cairo, June 10, 2001.

1056 Phillip Smucker, “From Khartoum,” U.K. Electronic Telegraph (London), Khartoum, March 7, 2001.

1057 IMF Staff Country Report No. 02/245, November 2002.

1058 Ibid.

–  –  –

Human Rights Watch believes that these and future audits of Sudapet and government oil revenues should be made publicly available.

Government Uses Oil Revenue to Buy Friends In mid-June 2001, the efforts of Sudan to parlay its oil resources into better diplomatic relations in the Horn of Africa paid off. It announced that it had signed an agreement with Ethiopia whereby Ethiopia would import 85 percent of its fuel requirements from Sudan beginning in 2002, consisting in gasoline and kerosene. Sudan would allow Ethiopia to build a fuel depot inside Sudan to ensure a steady supply of fuel to Ethiopia by road, the general manager of state-owned Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise said, adding that Ethiopia would save U.S. $ 7 million yearly by importing from Sudan rather than from outside Africa.1059 A Sudanese diplomat in Addis Ababa confirmed in early August 2001 that goods had already started moving via Port Sudan and that a highway linking the Sudanese port with the Sudanese city of Gedaref, 150 kilometers from the Ethiopian border, was complete and goods were forwarded from there without problem. But it appeared, from the Ethiopian side, that the road from Gedaref to the Ethiopian city of Gonder was impassable for heavy trucks in the rainy season. Ethiopia announced that it was considering the feasibility of building a 2,000-kilometer railway from Gallabat and Metema in Ethiopia through to Port Sudan.1060 These plans have been thwarted, however. An agreement between Sudan and Ethiopia anticipated that in January 2003 Sudan would start exporting 13,000 tons per month of gasoline to Ethiopia—which had until then spent 50 percent of its export earnings on fuel importation from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. The first Sudanese shipment was made on January 31, 2003. But then the oil shipments were halted by Sudan on account of a six-week shutdown of its oil refinery for overhaul in February 2003.





1059 “Ethiopia To Import 85 % Of Its Fuel Needs From Sudan,” AP, Addis Ababa, June 22, 2001.

1060 “Trade Link Established Through Port Sudan,” IRIN, Nairobi, August 2, 2001.

–  –  –

Then delays in upgrading the Metema-Gedarif road (which was prematurely inaugurated on January 30,

2003) occurred, the feasibility study was months overdue, and the rainy season intervened. 1061 Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi expressed concern that saboteurs could target oil delivery trucks, although that did not take place in the short period of exports. In April 2003 the Ethiopia switched suppliers and signed an agreement with a Kuwaiti company, which was discussing construction of an import pipeline between Addis Ababa and Djibouti. 1062 Petronas and Ethiopia in the meantime signed an agreement for Petronas to explore and develop Ethiopian oilfields in the Gambella region, believed to be an extension of the Sudanese Melut Basin.1063 Kenya appeared interested in importing Sudanese oil because it could be imported duty-free pursuant to the terms of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. When news of likely imports of Sudanese oil became public, Kenyan churches and others protested that Kenya should not engage in such trade with Sudan for moral and human rights reasons. In July 2001, Kenyan authorities banned delivery of Sudan oil shipments to Kenya.1064 Sudan immediately threatened to stop importing Kenyan tea and coffee, valued at approximately U.S. $ 150 million dollars per annum.1065 The threat of a trade war 1061 “Ethiopia to import oil from Sudan,” IRIN, Addis Ababa, January 7, 2003; “Sudan starts exporting oil to Ethiopia,” SUNA, Khartoum, February 1, 2003, in English, from BBC Monitoring Middle East, February 1, 2003; “Oil Imports From Sudan At a Standstill,” IRIN, Addis Ababa, March 27, 2003; “Ethiopia industry: Oil imports switched from Sudan to Kuwait,” Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU ViewsWire no. 301, July 15, 2003, http:global.factiva.com/en/arch/display.asp (accessed September 10, 2003).

1062 “Oil Imports From Sudan At a Standstill,” March 27, 2003.

1063 “Major Oil Exploration Deal,” IRIN, Addis Ababa, June 16, 2003.

1064 “Kenya: Agreement on importation of duty free oil from Sudan not yet concluded,” BBC, London, July 12, 2001; “Kenya: Catholic church opposes Sudan oil deal,” BBC, London, July 10, 2001. In addition to moral reasons, oil import duties were an important source of income for the Kenyan government. Ibid.

1065 “Sudan warns Kenya against ban on Sudanese oil imports,” AFP, Khartoum, July 22, 2001.

–  –  –

caused Kenya’s government to back down and end its ban.1066As of March 2003, however, talks were still underway between the two governments on Kenya’s import of oil freom Sudan.1067 At the same time that Kenya was debating whether to import Sudanese oil, South Africa's parastatal oil company Soekor was considering exploring for oil in Sudan. The South African Catholic church, which had sent a mission to southern Sudan in 2000 and issued a statement denouncing the bombing and forced displacement to clear people off the land for the purposes of oil development,1068 denounced any South African oil business with Sudan. After the South African Department of Foreign Affairs warned the parastatal about the consequences of oil exploration in Sudan,1069 Soekor denied reports that it intended to explore for Sudanese oil.1070 The door was still open, however, as reflected in an April 2003 meeting in Khartoum between a South African delegation and Sudanese Minister of Energy and Mining Dr. Awad Ahmad al-Jaz that discussed oil and other investment opportunities for South Africa in Sudan—according to the Sudanese government.1071 Increased Government Bombing of the South Bombing in 1999 Aerial bombardment in southern Sudan, conducted exclusively by the government, was not recorded on a regular or systematic basis until 2000, and even then reports often depended on the presence of foreign 1066 Jaindi Kisero, “Kenya opens door to Sudan oil imports,” Nation (Nairobi), August 14, 2001.

1067 Ochieng Sino, “Kenya to Import Sudan Oil,” East African Standard, Nairobi, March 20, 3002.

1068 See below, “Increased Government Bombing of the South.” 1069 Thuli Nhlapo, “South African Company Embroiled in Sudan Oil Row,” Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), July 20, 2001; “South Africa becomes involved in oil protest,” IRIN, Nairobi, July 23, 2001.

1070 “South African Oil Firm Says ‘No Plans for Sudan,’” IRIN, Nairobi, July 25, 2001.

1071 “Energy minister in talks with South African delegation on oil projects,” SUNA, Khartoum, April 8, 2003, in English, from BBC Monitoring Middle East, April 8, 2003.

360Human Rights Consequences of Oil Development

witnesses or relief or medical operations (Sudanese or foreign). When there is fighting, such agencies pull out their staff from the place of danger. The few agencies working in Western Upper Nile/Unity State prior to 1998 withdrew from that area starting in 1998 for periods of months at a time, and some pulled their operational bases out of that area, limiting assistance to visits of up to two weeks at most, because of insecurity. The information on bombing civilians and their structures is therefore sketchy and incomplete as it reflects primarily locations where relief agencies worked or tried to work. The relief umbrella, the OLS, noted these areas as a regular part of its undertaking to endeavor to protect relief workers from the dangers of the armed conflict.

In some other areas of the south, particularly Equatoria which is closer to Uganda and Kenya, transport is by road, some civil society organizations and churches have a more permanent presence, evacuations are less frequent, and record-keeping is not as difficult. While this geographical area is outside the scope of this report, we include the information on bombings here as an indication of patterns in other war zones, and of government spending on munitions and weapons enabling such bombings to be carried out.

Hospitals, whether they cater to civilians or serve only the military, are strictly off limits for military attack.1072 Civilians and civilian objets and structures such as churches and schools and homes are also not legitimate military targets.1073 Several human rights groups had discussed this fundamental rules of war concept with various government officials over the years, apparently to no avail.1074 1072

See Protocol II of 1977 to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, art. 11:

Medical units and transports shall be respected and protected at all times and shall not be the object of attack.

The protection to which medical units and transports are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit hostile acts, outside their humanitarian function. Protection may, however, cease only after a warning has been given setting, whenever appropriate, a reasonable time-limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.

1073 See Human Rights Watch, Civilian Devastation, p. 350.

1074 Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail, Human Rights Watch interview, New York, September 1998.

361Human Rights Watch



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