April 17, 2007 (LONDON) — A Darfur rebel group has warned today foreign oil firms against exploring oil and Mineral in the western Sudan province, saying they would not allow it.
"The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) wishes to make clear to foreign investors and the Sudanese government that so long as the people of Darfur are denied their basic rights, the exploitation of natural resources in Darfur for the benefit of the National Congress Party regime or any foreign firm will not be tolerated," said the SLM leader Abdelwahid al-Nur in a statement emailed to Sudan Tribune.
Al-Nur said that petrol and other mineral resources in the region are the proprietary of Darfur people and they should remain unexploited till the end of current conflict. He further added only people of Darfur are enabled to decide on the fate of this wealth.
“We in the SLM as well as the other parties are not authorized to dispose of this wealth while 90% of the Darfurians are displaced or refugees in the neighbouring countries”, he said.
In April 2005, the Sudanese minister of energy and Mining Awad Ahmed Al-Jazz announced that oil had been discovered in Darfur. The region has untapped oil, gold, iron , silver as well as natural gas.
Most of Sudan’s current oil production comes from oil fields in southern Sudan, where a peace treaty was signed between the ruling National Congress Party and the former rebel SPLM on 9 January 2005.