U.S. targets South Sudan oil firms in new restrictions

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 15 South Sudanese oil operators that it said were important sources of cash for the government, an action aimed at increasing pressure on President Salva Kiir to end the country’s conflict and humanitarian crisis.

The companies and government bodies would in future require special licenses to do business in the United States, the State Department said.

“The South Sudanese Government, and corrupt official actors, use this revenue to purchase weapons and fund irregular militias that undermine the peace, security, and stability of South Sudan,” the department said in a statement.

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New reports on corruption-fuelled atrocities

The trail of blood starts with oil‘s contamination of water

March 6, 2018

Two major reports, appearing within 48 hours of each other, each detailing how South Sudan‘s corrupt elite has funnelled ill-gotten oil revenues to the financing of the militias responsible for the ethnic cleansing, widespread rape, the eradication of democratic opposition and the other horrors of wars plaguing South Sudan.

And each report was compiled by a highly-respected investigative body:

the London-based Global Witness:

and the Washington-based The Sentry

“This trail of blood in South Sudan starts with Big Oil’s contamination of the groundwater and with other crimes against the environment and human beings perpetrated by it,” states Klaus Stieglitz of Sign of Hope, the Germany-based NGO which has spearheaded for over a decade the campaign against these misdeeds.

“Instead of investing in facilities capable of properly treating the wastes from the pumping of oil and in other environmental protection measures – such as the safe disposal of chemicals used in these processes, China National Petroleum, India’s ONGC Videsh, Malaysia’s Petronas and other companies forming part of South Sudan’s oil consortia were apparently allowed by the country’s government to engage in practices that have devastated the health and habitats of indigenous peoples,” explains Stieglitz.

“The upshot of this deal: the oil companies maximized revenues and profits – and South Sudan’s oil elite was supplied with ill gotten gains,” Stieglitz concludes.

As the literally hundreds of articles and Tweets recapitulating the reports have pointed out, one effective way to dry up this swamp of corruption, suffering and contamination would be to launch a country-wide investigation of oil contamination in South Sudan – and to compel Big Oil to commence the Great Clean-Up.


Fueling Atrocities: Oil and War in South Sudan

South Sudan’s trail of money and suffering: it starts with oil’s pollution of water

Fueling Atrocities

South Sudan’s leaders use the country’s oil wealth to get rich and terrorize civilians, according to documents reviewed by The Sentry. The records reviewed by The Sentry describe who is financially benefiting from the conflict itself. Little has been known about the financial machinery that makes South Sudan’s continuing war possible, but these documents appear to shed new light on how the country’s main revenue source—oil—is used to fuel militias and ongoing atrocities, and how a small clique continues to get richer while the majority of South Sudanese suffer or flee their homeland.

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Petronas: being blasted in Malaysian media

South Sudan accuses Petronas consortium of pollution, threatens shutdown

JUBA (March 1): South Sudanese lawmakers have accused the consortium running the country’s last working oilfields of dumping expired chemicals in the bush, and have threatened to shut down production unless it stops.

Members of parliament’s energy committee told the assembly they had seen containers holding old chemicals including potassium chloride in a remote area in the northeast, saying locals feared for their health. Reuters could not immediately verify the assertion.

The DAR Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) — which runs the northeastern neighbouring oil blocks 3 and 7 near the borders of Sudan and Ethiopia — told Reuters it had no one available to comment.

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Oil threats twitted

From the Twitter account of Bior Kwer Bior: :  Because of war, various oil installations have been abandoned in Panriang oilfield, and this threatens the environment. In some cases, rebels have intentionally set ablaze some oil installations.Link to the tweet

. In Paloch oilfield, local residents haven’t been sensitized enough about the danger lurking in the Produced Water (PW) ponds. As a results, they habitually take their cows for drinking in these toxic water ponds as shown in the picture.Link to the tweet

Pariang reports increasing oil pollution effects

An epicenter of the contamination in Ruweng is the town of Pariang, whose mayor, Silvano Nuoi, had this to say about its effects: “Babies are born bearing wounds or are deformed, and we have no doubt that these distortions are caused by the wastes of petroleum. Other oil wasters-caused health problems include miscarriages and stillbirths, chronic itching and other skin diseases, brain and neurological degeneration, hypertension, nausea and many others. 

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