n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - The lessons of petro-politics in Sudan - : Africa-wide - investing in conflict zones

Volume 2014, Issue 05
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After providing significant aid to (some would say 'propping up') the Khartoum government since the 1990s, in 2014 China is poised to reap what it has sown by having to take potential losses on its flagship pipeline project in Sudan. On 22 April 2014, China could only urge renewed efforts at peace negotiations when rebels who aligned themselves with former Vice-President Riek Machar slaughtered thousands of South Sudanese civilians, including children who had taken refuge in a church, a mosque and a school, when the rebels seized the oil hub Bentui. The massacre showed that the rebels have little desire for negotiation. China has an economic stake in Bentui, and indeed its interests in Sudan and South Sudan are oil-related. As the largest investor in South Sudan's oil industry, China has dedicated itself to resolving the South Sudan fighting. Runaway events, propelled by a murderous momentum of their own, are, however, hindering diplomatic solutions.

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