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Three Gorges in Northern Sudan

In their ongoing war of attrition in Darfur, the Khartoum regime has handily benefitted from China's free-flowing supply of money, weaponry and weapons technology. The relationship between the two countries—with China's huge thirst for Sudan's oil and investment in Khartoum's … Read More

By / June 18, 2007

In their ongoing war of attrition in Darfur, the Khartoum regime has handily benefitted from China's free-flowing supply of money, weaponry and weapons technology. The relationship between the two countries—with China's huge thirst for Sudan's oil and investment in Khartoum's expanding urban development—stops not with their chummy and sinister economic and military ties but also with both governments in Beijing and Khartoum determined to build hydroelectric dams that displace tens of thousands of civilians.

On his website, www.sudanreeves.org, Professor Eric Reeves of Smith College writes in his recent testimony before Congress,

Projects such as the Merowe Dam in far northern Sudan, with China as the major contractor and financer, will benefit the Khartoum region; but there is no national grid with which to share the electricity that will be produced, even as the people of Merowe region will see nothing but displacement, often into uninhabitable terrain. Built on the fourth cataract of the Nile River, the Merowe Dam is arguably the most environmentally irresponsible construction project in all of Africa. A farming population of more than 50,000 people is being moved forcibly, and without remotely adequate compensation, from the fertile Nile River bank to some of the most arid regions of Bayouda and Nubia. Those resisting the project have been dealt with brutally, with complicity on the part of China’s work force and security personnel.

Chinese contractors are constructing the majority of the dam and its transmissions lines while the China Export Import Bank pays into the hundreds of millions of dollars. It is no wonder that Beijing would be so agreeable to this project. After all, displacing 50,000 into the scorched and brutal African desert is nothing compared to the 1.13 million peasant Chinese who lost their homes as the Three Gorges Dam went up for good in 2006.

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