AC Alert for July 28, 2011 Celebrating Independence Day... ... in Another Part of Our World

Primary tabs AC Alert for July 28, 2011 Celebrating Independence Day... ... in Another Part of Our World

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AC Alert for July 28, 2011 Celebrating Independence Day... ... in Another Part of Our World
Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 10:15am

The irony of how close the dates were cannot be ignored. Monday July 4th: Americans from sea-to-shining sea, and around the world, waived the familiar stars and stripes, cooked their burgers and watched fireworks to celebrate the 215th anniversary of American Independence.

Saturday July 9th: The people of South Sudan in Africa officially declared their independence for the very first time, six years after the end of a two-decade civil war with the north that killed as many as 2 million people. Citizens displayed thousands of flags with the country’s new colors, setting off a huge celebration in the capital city of Juba. Is it a coincidence that these two dates came so close together? And how will the Southern Sudanese preserve and protect their long sought Independence?

These are the types of issues your AC editors explore every day in our special Hot Topics section: Crisis in Sudan.

Credit should be given to the investment interests here in the USA, and in other countries, that have continued to ratchet up the pressure on the government of the Republic of Sudan to end the genocide in Darfur region through coordinated shareholder activist activities targeting companies doing business in the country and thereby supporting the government’s actions, such as the Save Darfur Coalition.  (We track the campaign of Investors Against Genocide in our SustainabilityHQ™ platform.)

Investors Against Genocide is a nonprofit organization that works to convince investors -- particularly broadly-owned mutual funds -- to avoid investments in companies complicit in genocide.  The group writes: “In particular, we want investment firms to avoid or divest holdings of PetroChina (Chinese company), Sinopec (also Chinese), ONGC (Indian company), and Petronas (Malaysian) – these are the four major oil companies that are partnering with the Government of Sudan and helping to fund the genocide in Darfur...”
Despite the focus on Darfur in that statement, IAG generally asks mutual fund advisory boards of directors of mutual funds and management of investment firms to adopt a more general resolution. Shareholder proposal submissions include this text:
Shareholders request that the Board will institute procedures to prevent holding investments in companies that, in the judgment of the Board, substantially contribute to genocide or crimes against humanity, the most egregious violations of human rights.
In the United States -- in a summer news atmosphere dominated by political disputes over current deficit and long-term debt negotiations in Washington, DC,  it's far too easy to ignore the historic steps to freedom taken in South Sudan, as well as the risks and dangers which the new country faces, including the current armed conflict going in Sudan and Darfur. Keep in mind that the emergency conditions in Sudan’s western region of Darfur represents a dramatic challenge to the world from the African continent – the worst since the Rwanda genocide in 1994. In Darfur, villages were razed, women and girls systematically raped and branded, men and boys murdered, and food and water supplies targeted and destroyed. Lives were hanging in the balance on a massive scale.

Many people preferred to ignore the gravity of what was transpiring in Sudan, but the editors of Accountability-Central believe that the events in both Sudan and in Darfur need to be kept in focus and that there must be a return to accountability on the part of the Republic of Sudan’s government. Now that South Sudan has officially declared its independence this is no time to relax. That's why AC will continue to focus on news, commentary and background research on developments in this part of the world.

Click here to read this week's full Alert on


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