A South Sudanese oil consortium directly financed militias accused of committing atrocities in the country’s civil war, according to an investigative report by watchdog group the Sentry. Founded by the actor George Clooney and John Prendergast, a rights activist, the report linked the consortium, Dar Petroleum Operating Company, in which Chinese- and Malaysian state-owned oil companies have large stakes, to episodes of violence, corruption and environmental degradation. It also outlined ties between forces loyal to the government of President Salva Kiir and the company, a relationship apparently forged in an effort to protect the oil fields and keep revenues flowing. While experts say there are few accountability mechanisms in place in South Sudan, the naming and shaming of major international organizations and individuals could prove financially damaging. The authors also hope the report would spur action from banks and governments, such as seizing assets and imposing sanctions on those named.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES