DARFUR UPDATE: Here's a page from Human Rights Watch, saying that France -- last seen trying to block U.S.-initiated sanctions against the genocidal Sudanese government -- holds perhaps the largest oil concession in Sudan: "the concession, by far the largest in the south at 120,000 square kilometers, is owned by the oil multinational TotalFinaElf, and encompasses Central Upper Nile and beyond." Screw 'em -- I say no blood for oil!
UPDATE: Reader John Cunningham emails with a map (click "more" to read it)
John Cunningham emails:
As regards oil in the Sudan, a little Google work will show that Southern Sudan, the area of the ethnic cleansing campaign by the Sudanese government, is the site of a number of promising oil fields. Here's map of the current oil concessions in the area:
Please note that petroleum industry reports place the *known* oil reserves in Southern Sudan at over 1 Billion barrels -- and French company Total has the most lucrative drilling rights to that oil. It is blindingly clear that the Sudanese government is using the so-called "Janjaweed" militias to wage war upon the ethnic black Christian and Animists in the South, to push them from the oil lands and to keep them under heel. This is not new -- only newly "discovered" by the Western press. This war has been going on for over a decade, and hundreds of thousands have already died -- all under the watchful eye of France and other European nations more concerned with oil than human lives, unconcerned that the government in Khartoum has brought chattel slavery back into fashion in Africa. Check out i-Abolish.org for more info on this.
Actually, southern Sudan is the site of a different genocidal war, now (perhaps) resolved as the result of a recent U.S. diplomatic initiative recently praised by Nick Kristof. But the French fear, I think, that doing anything about Darfur (to the northwest, near Chad) will imperil their operations in the South now that things are quieting down there.