From Volume 36, Issue 39 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 9, 2009
Africa News Digest

Sudan Presidential Advisor Sees Huge Potential for U.S.-Sudan Relations

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's most senior advisor, Ghazi Salaheddin, while on a short working visit to Washington, answered questions today from EIR, on the potential for economic development of the former colonial, unindustrialized nations, and on relations between the United States and Sudan. A transcript follows:

EIR: Lyndon LaRouche has called for a return of the United States to its Constitution to establish a new worldwide credit system based on a four-power agreement among China, Russia, India, and the United States. If such a shift could be made, how would you envision the potential for development in Sudan, Africa, and the world?

Ghazi: Any system which establishes a just and equitable world economic order will be to the benefit of developing countries, and Sudan in particular. You must remember that countries like Sudan have huge resources, and the thing that has stood in the way of their development has been the unfair international economic relations, as exemplified by the Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF, and World Bank, etc.

So we are very much for a new world economic order that can achieve equality between the countries, and unleash and unblock the potential of countries, like my country, Sudan.

So I hope this advice is heeded, and we can begin debate on what kind of system we will employ.

EIR: If the United States were to break with traditional British policies toward Sudan and Africa, what potential would exist for U.S.-Sudanese relations?

Ghazi: We have a huge potential for relations. I think we both draw upon huge resources, both human and natural resources. We believe that the American people basically are generous people, and open, and very keen on having productive relations with others. So are the Sudanese. What is standing in the way is American policy of successive administrations, especially the previous administration, the Bush Administration. And if we could allow the two peoples to interact, and to join hands together, I think we can work miracles, both for Africa and for the United States.

20 Million People Without Food in Horn of Africa

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Somalia, southern Ethiopia, Northern Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan have been hit with drought, due to shifts in the rainy season. An official from the Lutheran World Association reported upon returning to Sweden, on Swedish radio, that "the corn fields are just brown, with no corn at all."

Famine conditions such as this have been consciously created, and make African nations vulnerable to British imperial destabilization campaigns which will wreck them as sovereign nations. Such conditions could have been prevented if Lyndon LaRouche's policy proposals had been implemented. Most immediately, for this region, if the insane policies of sanctions and isolation of Sudan had not been perpetrated, Sudan would already in a position to export food to its neighbors in the region.

Staffan de Mistura, deputy head of the World Food Program (WFP), warned that "the situation is critical," telling Dagens Nyheter Sept. 26 that 20 million people are in acute need of food in the Horn of Africa. Besides the years-long drought, he lists several reasons for the hunger, including the long conflict in Somalia, high food prices, and the global financial crisis.

This is "a dangerous mix," he said, but didn't want to compare it to the starvation catastrophe in Ethiopia in the 1980s. "But then, we learned what could happen if we did not act in time," Staffan de Misutra said. The WFP needs another $977 million to tackle the situation in the Horn.

Sukhri Ahmed, an economist at the WFP, discussed food prices with Swedish radio. "They are on a higher level today, compared with the situation before the price increases and the food riots two years ago. This means that many people, in a situation of food insecurity, are becoming more desperate." As more people are dependent on food aid today, he said, "food aid has to be combined with investment in economies, agriculture and technology, because the dependence on food aid cannot continue."

Chinese Bid for Big Stake in Nigerian Oil Alarms Brits

Sept. 30 (EIRNS)—A Chinese oil company is bidding for the rights to explore and exploit such a large number of Nigerian prime oil blocks that—if the bid is completely successful—it would increase China's access to Africa's proven reserves from 3% to almost 7%.

The bid has sufficiently alarmed the British, to occasion three articles and an editorial in the Financial Times, Sept. 28-30. China's "latest and boldest bid to gain a strategic position in Nigeria's oil industry sets the stage for a showdown with western oil companies," according to the Financial Times article Sept. 29. The editorial that day says the same.

The Chinese deal could be between $30-50 billion, according to the Financial Times, which reveals that the Chinese oil bids would be competing for 23 oil blocks which are presently controlled by western oil companies, which include Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Total, and Exxon-Mobil. CNOOC, one of China's three major energy companies, would be attempting to lock up 6 billion barrels of oil, equivalent to 1 of every 6 barrels of oil in Nigeria.

The leases on 16 of the 18 on-shore blocks expired last year. The Financial Times reports that Royal Dutch Shell has filed an injunction against any change in ownership of the blocks, for which the licenses of many have apparently already expired.

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