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Sudanese official criticizes China over Darfur crisis

U.N. figures put death toll in Sudan's civil war at 200,000, other sources say it is much higher

Sudanese official criticizes China over Darfur crisis

China's involvement in Sudanese energy projects could worsen the nation's four-year civil war, the deputy governor of Sudan's central bank said here yesterday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the African Development Bank meeting in Shanghai, Elijah Aleng said Chinese investment in Sudanese oil could help fund weapons purchases in the northeast African nation.
"They might have good intentions but when you exploit oil resources and you sell it and nothing goes to the populations, then you are financing the war against them with the resources," Aleng said.
China is the leading customer for Sudanese oil and a key supplier of military arms and equipment to Sudan's government.
Sudan's leaders have welcomed China's military and political support and the two sides vowed last month to deepen their ties.
Aleng told Agence France-Presse he was a member of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, originally a rebel movement based in southern Sudan.
In 2005, the SPLA signed a peace pact with Khartoum and now is represented in the Sudan government.
"It only aggravates the war," Aleng told AFP, referring to how oil money ends up being spent on weapons. "You have Sudanese killing Sudanese."
Death toll
About 200,000 people have died in the four-year civil war in western Sudan's Darfur region and two million more have fled their homes according to U.N. figures, although some sources put the death toll much higher.
Many Western critics accuse the Sudanese government of genocide for its role in the violence.
China has also been criticized for not using its clout as a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council to force Khartoum to end the violence in Darfur.
Harmony, not discord
Aleng urged China to use its position to greater influence.
"We would like (China's U.N. vote) to be used in such a way that it creates harmony in Sudan, not discord," Aleng said.
Aleng's comments flew in the face of a speech by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the two-day African Development Bank meeting that stressed China's interests in the continent were well-intentioned.
"We are truly sincere in helping Africa speed up its economic and social development for the benefit of African countries and its people," Wen told the 2,000 delegates attending the meeting on Wednesday.
Aleng also said that southern Sudan and China were in discussions that he hoped could lead to projects with greater benefits for Sudan.
"Where you exploit oil you need to be considerate about the situation of the citizens, because when you exploit oil and discover wells you are bound to displace populations that are there."


Updated : 2021-10-19 06:24 GMT+08:00