Amber Countries> Sudan

Sudan seems to be shaping up as another sad casualty of the growing world chaos. Sudan was an integral nation on the road to the creation of Al Qaeda. It was one of the countries that Usama Bin Laden stayed in with his guerrilla army. But pressure from the US saw the Sudanese finally drive him out and he left for Afghanistan. There was long suspicion however that some of his infrastructure was left behind in this nation. Following the bombings of the US embassies in Africa in 1998, Bill Clinton chose to launch retaliatory strikes not just at Usama in Afghanistan but also at buildings in Sudan. Unfortunately it seems that all that was bombed was an innocent Aspirin factory and not any Al Qaeda related buildings. So the relationship between the US and Sudan has been one of hostility.

As well as its Al Qaeda links this nation has long been wracked by internal divisions between a number of disparate groups in the country. But these divisions and wars have often been exacerbated by the large oil reserves the nation holds. Many suspect that an old civil war between the Muslim north and the Christian south had oil as one of its causes. This war has since ceased and the south is fairly autonomous. Now the war is raging in the western province of Darfur. This is ostensibly taking place between Arab Muslims and the Negroid Muslims who were once their slaves. Some speculate that the oil interests in the region may indeed again be fuelling this current civil war.

The Chinese have access to the vast majority of Sudanese oil reserves. As such they are sponsoring and supporting the central Arab government in Khartoum with exceptional fervour, even protecting them from the UN Security Council’s attempts at shutting down the alleged genocide in the region. In the face of this the US is desperately trying to get some sort of ‘peace’ force on the ground that will be under their sway. They have even invited one of the opposing Negroid rebel leaders to come and visit them in Washington, although this particular rebel leader is supposed to be in a peace deal with the central Arab government. Even so, if this was a genuine attempt to use an intermediary to patch things up between Washington and Khartoum it does not appear to have worked. And there are some that accuse Washington of doing little more than setting up a network through which they can arm elements friendly to them via their agents in neighbouring Chad. Far from ending the war this seems to just be prolonging it.

Regardless of what may have driven this war to begin with it does seem to be shaping up to be a new hot zone in a clash between the west and China over oil. If a greater war erupts following the Iran strike this region could very easily see some sort of action. Especially as the neighbouring horn of Africa will also be in turmoil with the Ethiopia Somali war raging.

map of Sudan