HRW (2003). Sudan, Oil, Human Rights.
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The first export of crude oil from Sudan in August 1999 marked a turning point in the country’s complex civil war, now in its twentieth year: oil became the main objective and a principal cause of the war. Oil now figures as an important remaining obstacle to a lasting peace and oil revenues have been used by the government to obtain weapons and ammunition that have enabled it to intensify the war and expand oil development. Expansion of oil development has continued to be accompanied by the violent displacement of the agro-pastoral southern Nuer and Dinka people from their traditional lands atop the oilfields. Members of such communities continue to be killed or maimed, their homes and crops burned, and their grains and cattle looted. The large-scale exploitation of oil by foreign companies operating in the theatre of war in southern Sudan has increased human rights abuses there and has exacerbated the long-running conflict in Sudan, a conflict marked already by gross human rights abuses—two million dead, four million displaced since 1983—and recurring famine and epidemics.