A Sudanese central bank official has warned China that oil investments could exacerbate conflicts in Sudan unless it pressed the government to engage local populations and share revenues. He also draw parallels with the conflict in the Niger Delta.

China, which buys much of Sudan’s oil, has been under fire internationally for doing business with a regime condemned in the West for its actions in Darfur, but the banker’s comments were a rare critical voice coming from Khartoum.

“When you exploit oil and resources and nothing goes to the population, then you are financing the war against them with resources and that is negative,” deputy central bank governor Elijah Aleng told reporters on the sidelines of the African Development Bank’s annual meeting.

Aleng once headed the humanitarian wing of the main southern rebel group, Sudan People’s Liberation Army, and said the south could again become restive if the local population felt it was being shut out of the region’s oil wealth.

“You know what is happening today in the Niger Delta in Nigeria?” he asked. “We don’t want that to happen in the south, but that can happen very easily, when the population feel their government is not taking care of them,” Aleng said.

One Comment

  • It would appear Mr. Aleng should criticize the US and the EU for their roles (or, more pointely lack there of) in aiding Sudan to become the ‘failed state’ it has been since the 1970s. China is just following the unsavory lead of the EU nations, the US and global corporations in pillaging African nations.

    For decades, the US and the nations of EU has done their best to keep African nations in a state of eco-politcal chaos so as to ‘rob’ them of their natural resources. Consider the status of such Oil-rich nations as Equetorial Guinea, Nigeria and the Congo (DRC) after US policies, the World Bank and the IMF has worked their magic! China’s up front with its needs and the nature of the relationship it would like to have with the Sudan. Its agenda is more transparent.

    With a choice between a transparent, direct agenda and one founded in decades of deceit and racist loan policies, Sudan should be wise enough to take the former.

    J. Conrad

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