Extensive Mineral Resources


KHARTUOM/BERLIN Increasingly, suggestions for military intervention followed by a partition of the Sudan are voiced in Berlin. On June 2, parliament will debate ,,international responsibility" for that African state. The following day, Kerstin Müller, a member of the Foreign Office, will convene a special session of the organizations which are combined in the ,,Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Aid". While a peace agreement in the civil war state seems to be imminent, German media criticize the Sudan as an ,,artificial nation-state creation" and evoke memories of Yugoslavia’s disintegration.

According to international press reports, the signing of a peace agreement between the central government in Khartoum and the rebels in the south is imminent. This would end the civil war, which began in 1983, as well as divide the power and oil riches of the south. In addition, the government has agreed to facilitate access for international aid organizations to the western province of Darfur. There, two militant movements are active and are in communication with the rebels of the south.

,,Artificial creation"

However, elements of the German press claim that the imminent peace agreement rests on ,,shaky feet": Sudan’s President Al Bashir conducts a ,,racist-Arab war," an ,,archaic-appearing struggle for the fantasy of a great Arab empire".1) They state that Sudan is an ,,artificial nation-state creation", a notion for political strife like the one which Berlin had already used to encourage the partition of Yugoslavia. For quite some time, Berlin’s foreign policy experts have considered the division of Sudan and the stationing of occupation troops under EU leadership. The German NGO-founder, Ruper Neudeck, suggested a short time ago that a ,,consortium of non-governmental organizations" could, with a binding mandate, ,,take on the leadership" of the splintered off parts of the country.

,,Mission probable"

Germany’s minister for development, Wieczorek-Zeul (SPD) has similar ideas. She demands military deployment as well as UN sanctions in the Sudan which will force the country’s government to allow for Berlin’s lust for influence. The chairperson of the EU military commission, Gustav Hägglund, has already declared that he considers the deployment of international troops under EU leadership in the Sudan ,,very probable". Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has induced his EU colleagues to support military deployment in Darfur in anticipation of the African Union’s progress report which is due. The UN Security Council will, under German chairmanship, prepare an explanation of the situation in the Sudan. A ,,conference of donors" to the crisis region, to be organized by the UN, the USA and the EU is planned for the beginning of June.

Oil, Gold, Uranium

German businesses also have hopes for the ,,donor conference". Thus, Thormälen Schweisstechnik AG, intends to construct a 2,500 kilometer railroad from the south of the Sudan across Uganda to Kenya. For this railroad alone an investment of approximately one billion Euro is planned and an additional two billion Euro are to be spent in the accompanying development of infrastructure (roads and wells). The firm’s CEO is confident that the ,,donor conference" will approve the construction expenses: "Sudan’s south has extensive mineral resources, including oil, gold and uranium". The contract for billions of Euro was mediated by Kenya’s government with which the German chancellor wants to establish a ,,privileged partnership".2) The contract for the railroad was underwritten by John Garang, the ringleader of the Christian-oriented rebel movement SPLM/A which largely controls the country’s south. German engineers are already engaged in preparations for construction in southern Sudan.

1) Ein islamistischer Rassist; Die Welt 25.05.2004
2) s. auch Complementary Area (II)

Oldesloer Firma Thormählen Schweißtechnik plant für Afrika; Lübecker Nachrichten 19.05.2004
Eine Eisenbahn für Afrika; Hamburger Abendblatt 21.05.2004
,,Die Strategie der Rücksichtnahme erweist sich als fatal". Entwicklungsministerin Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (SPD) fordert Sanktionen gegen Sudan und kritisiert die UN; Frankfurter Rundschau 25.05.2004
Internationale Gemeinschaft muss Druck auf Sudan erhöhen. Interview mit Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, SPD; Deutschlandradio 25.05.2004
Friedensabkommen steht unmittelbar bevor; Der Standard 25.05.2004
Frieden im Sudan nicht in Sicht; Handelsblatt 25.05.2004