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Oil, War and Forced Migration in Sudan

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This article contends that competition between national and Southern Sudanese political elites for control of oil development in Southern Sudan was a major cause of the nation's second civil war (1983-2005). Chevron's discovery of oil in the Upper Nile region of Southern Sudan in 1978 raised tensions between the political elites in the national government and those in the then autonomous Southern Sudan region. The Southern elites raised arms against the central government to rectify their perceived exclusion from the development of the oil industry. In 1984, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) attacked Chevron's personnel and facilities, closing down oil development temporarily. Other western oil companies that invested in Sudan after Chevron, such as the Canadian oil company Talisman, also withdrew or suspended operations mainly due to rebel threats. However, companies from China, Malaysia, India and other Asian countries continued to operate in the country. ...

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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