The Washington-based Enough Project criticized US officials holding meetings with Sudanese officials in Addis Ababa and Khartoum this month to discuss investment in Sudan.
The Chargé d'affaires of the US Embassy in Sudan hosted a meeting with Sudanese officials in the attendance of representative from Baker Hughes, an oil field services company majority owned by General Electric to discuss investment opportunities in Sudan in the energy, mining, and infrastructure sectors.
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Co-Founder of The Sentry, commented: "The United States has a unique role to play in support of a peaceful transition away from thirty years of dictatorship and grand corruption in Sudan.”
“At a moment when mass protests are demanding change, it is unfortunate that the US is contributing to a public perception that investment in oil, mining, and other sectors in Sudan is appropriate, which would only reinforce the kleptocratic system and not benefit the Sudanese people,” he added.
Prendergast continued that “US embassy officials certainly must do their jobs and meet with Americans and American businesses who come through Khartoum, but we believe investments that would reinforce the kleptocratic dictatorship would be counter-productive and should be strongly discouraged.
“Furthermore, Baker Hughes and its parent company General Electric should understand the negative impact of any planned investment in these strategic sectors at this critical moment” he stressed.
Suliman Baldo, Senior Advisor to the Enough Project noted: "The regime's use of excessive force and daily torture of hundreds of detainees, as well as the sexual harassment and beatings of female detainees by security agents, must qualify as a serious breach of the commitments the regime undertook in accepting the six-track engagement roadmap with the US aimed at removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terror List.”
He added, “Forging ahead with the process as bilaterally agreed to last November strengthens the hands of Sudan's kleptocratic dictatorship against its own people. The United States should stand firmly on the side of Sudan's peaceful protesters."