Sudan: Rebels, Religion and Oil

It’s a thirty seven-year conflict involving religion, ethnic origins, slavery and oil. But it could all be over by the end of the year. At least that’s the hope of United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, who flew in to East Africa urging agreement to bring peace to Sudan.

The World Today Published 1 December 2003 Updated 21 October 2020 6 minute READ

Jemera Rone

Counsel/Sudan Researcher at Human Rights Watch, Africa Division

When Sudan’s first crude oil for export poured out of the just-completed one thousand five hundred-kilometre pipeline and gushed into a supertanker at Sudan’s new Red Sea port in August 1999, the Islamist-military government was elated. The civil war, in its twentieth year, had until then made the development of oil – located beneath war-torn southern swamps and savannahs – impossible.

The International Monetary Fund, which suspended Sudan in 1990 for failure to pay even interest on its enormous debt, reinstated it just days before this first crude flowed.

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