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A United Nations Security Council delegation begins talks today with Sudanese government officials to press demands for a UN peacekeeping force to help end fighting in the western region of Darfur.
The Sudanese government last month agreed to allow a UN assessment team to visit Darfur to prepare for a transition from the 7,000-member African Union peacekeeping force to a UN contingent of as many as 20,000 troops. The Sudanese authorities haven't yet agreed to a UN deployment.
The Darfur conflict has killed tens of thousands of civilians and forced more than 2 million from their homes, the UN says. The UN calls Darfur the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has accused the Sudanese government of committing genocide there.
Guardian, June 2005
A millionaire British businessman, Friedhelm Eronat, was named last night as the purchaser of oil rights in the Darfur region of Sudan, where the regime is accused of war crimes and where millions of tribespeople are alleged to have been forced to flee, amid mass rapes or murders.
Documents seen by the Guardian suggest that Mr Eronat, who lives in a £20m house in Chelsea, swapped his US passport for a British one shortly before the deal was signed with the Sudan regime in October 2003.
The documents show that Mr Eronat may have been acting for China, which has been prominent in the new "scramble for Africa" and its oil deposits. Two Chinese corporations were given an option to buy 50% of Mr Eronat's newly acquired stake in the Darfur field. The option expired last year. It is not known whether China took it up.
Mr Felter said last night: "Eronat is not interested in Darfur or political issues. He's interested in making money."
Channel 4 (UK) Report, June 2005
Peter Felter knows Cliveden's secrets, and Friedhelm Eronat's too. He was his lawyer for eight years and ran the whole empire for four before he was sacked. He is taking the Group to an employment tribunal. Cliveden's rigorously defending the action.
He said: "He's a complex personality. Very rich, very charming, a very good salesperson. He now is Mr Big Oil, untouchable. He doesn't care about the minor issues of Darfur or genocide."
Friedhelm Eronat was at the heart of the deal to get at Darfur's oil. In late 2003, through his company, Cliveden Sudan, he acquired the biggest stake in the consortium drilling for oil.
Mr Felter said: "Cliveden Sudan was bringing not only money of course, but it also was bringing quite a level of expertise in looking at the geology in Sudan."
Eronat controls or acts on behalf of at least six companies that engaged in oil trading in the Persian Gulf, the former Soviet Union, and Africa.
Eronat knew much more about his and Williams's dealings in the former Soviet Union than did most senior executives at Mobil. In an interview last fall, one of Eronat's lawyers told me that he had warned Jerry R. Bidinger, the senior Mobil lawyer on the investigating team, that Mobil "did not want Eronat as an adversary." Eronat himself told Mobil during the internal investigation, one official said, that "it was always understood that the debt would never be collected."
Between August of 1994 and June of 1996, Mobil signed contracts worth more than a billion dollars with Balkar Trading. It then disbursed more than six hundred million dollars to the Swiss bank account of a second entity, Balkar International. When the Mobil investigators looked into these transfers, they learned that Balkar International appeared to be controlled by Friedhelm Eronat.
Originally posted by ShadowXIX
More proof IMO on just how slow and ineffective the UN is.