South Sudan’s New Partner: Glencore International
KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Rosenberg: The newly independent nation of South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan last Saturday and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir traveled to the new nation’s capitol, Juba, to congratulate the Southern Sudanese people, but fighting continues in the border states, and many fear that South Sudan’s Independence Day may have been the calm before the storm, because negotiations about sharing oil revenues and the demarcation of borders, broke down before the celebrations. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: South Sudan has fertile farmland, timber, copper, uranium, and other mineral reserves, and much of the world’s gum arabic, which is essential to making soda pop and ice cream, but its most contested resource is oil. Prior to the independence of North and South, Sudan was the third largest oil producer in Africa, but seventy-five percent of its known oil reserves were in what became, on July 9th, South Sudan. Pipelines controlled by the Sudanese government in Khartoum transport the oil in the South to refining infrastructure in the north, and to Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, for export.
President Omar Al-Bashir threatened to shut down the pipelines before talks on oil sharing broke down, and the South responded that it might bypass Khartoum and connect its oil to a new East Africa pipeline running through Uganda and Kenya to the Indian Ocean. If built, this pipeline would unify what Ugandan American Milton Allimadi, editor of the New York City-based Black Star News, describes as a vast oil field in Southern Sudan and Northwestern Uganda, all of which is now secured by the U.S. military and its African partners:
Milton Allimadi: Southern Sudan borders Northern Uganda, and going from that region into Western Uganda, that’s a vast oil field. If you look at it as a continuous region, starting from Western Uganda sweeping into Northern Uganda into Southern Sudan. . .very rich oil fields. . . which, considering the U.S. presence in the region right now, is much more secure than some of the oil fields in the Middle East.
KPFA: Within days of its independence, the Government of South Sudan announced the formation of its joint venture with Glencore International, a public limited corporation traded on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, and registered in Jersey, a British Crown Dependency in the English Channel, which serves as a corporate tax haven. Glencore was founded by international commodities trader Mark Rich, who was indicted in the United States on federal charges of tax evasion and making illegal oil deals with Iran during the late 1970s-early 1980s Iran hostage crisis. Rich was in Switzerland at the time of the indictment and has never returned to the U.S., although President Bill Clinton pardoned him on January 20, 2001, Clinton’s last day in office.
Investigative journalist Keith Harmon Snow says that Southern Sudan’s joint venture with Glencore is the conclusion of years of U.S. covert operations financed by U.S. taxpayers.
Keith Harmon Snow: The American public has been hoodwinked into believing that the situation in Sudan is independent, and that there’s now an autonomous, independent country. What’s been pulled over the American public’s eyes is all of the corporate interests, all of the killing that’s been done by the American military interests on the ground, the private military companies connected to the United States, and by our proxy forces. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Sudan Liberation Army are funded by the United States, all covertly, and this is what the American taxpayers are paying for.
KPFA: For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.
San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own blog, Ann Garrison, and produces forAfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend Newson KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.