Note: This op-ed originally appeared in USA Today and was written by The Sentry’s co-founders, George Clooney and John Prendergast.
Anecdotes abound of corrupt, war-torn African dictatorships. South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is usually Exhibit A in those tales. But in the shadows of this narrative is another part of the story, usually untold. It is the story of transnational war profiteers who have come from all over the world to enrich themselves from South Sudan’s natural resources, government contracts and demand for weapons. South Sudan’s leaders have done their part to roll out the red carpet for willing international accomplices, ensuring a complete absence of the rule of law and total impunity for extreme violence in the service of resource extraction. Many international investors — regardless of their initial intentions — have adapted to this reality, some simply benefiting from the violence, others partnering with the perpetrators of violence and still others at times actively contributing to the violence.
The fourth largest company in the world — China National Petroleum Corp. — was an early investor in South Sudan. It is the largest shareholder in a consortium called Dar Petroleum, which is by far the largest exporter of oil from South Sudan. Oil accounts for more than 95% of the government’s revenue.
The Sentry’s new investigation into international profiteering in South Sudan reveals that beyond shadowy deals, this consortium is an active contributor to the destruction of the country…
Click here to read the full op-ed.