Sudan’s Enablers

Wall Street Opinion Journal | Jody Williams and Mia Farrow | May 23, 2007

Chinese oil companies fuel genocide in Darfur. It’s time for Americans to divest.

We met in Abeche, eastern Chad, in February of this year. We were both working for the United Nations, focusing on the violence in Darfur and how it has spilled over into local and refugee populations in Chad and the Central African Republic. We had something else in common as well: Both of us had been inadvertently funding the atrocities we were trying to stop.

This funding came through our investments in companies such as Fidelity, which has major holdings in PetroChina and Sinopec–two Chinese oil companies that have poured billions into Khartoum’s coffers. At least 70% of Sudan’s oil revenues have been used by Khartoum to purchase attack helicopters, Antonov bombers and small arms used to kill and inflict immeasurable suffering upon the population of Darfur.

After discovering our indirect complicity in Khartoum’s crimes, we moved our pension plans into investment companies that are not enabling mass atrocities. We also resolved to become more involved with the various efforts to divest from companies doing business with Sudan.

Fidelity has not been the only, or even the largest, U.S. firm enabling the slaughter in Darfur. Earlier this month, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, which has roughly $3 billion invested in PetroChina, voted not only against divesting, but against taking any shareholder action on the issue.

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