Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How Nebraska Can Help Change Sudan

by Kyle Michaelis
A letter I just received:
Dear Citizen of Nebraska,

To date, over 400,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have been displaced in the Darfur region of Sudan. Want to do something to help end this genocide? As a Nebraskan, you can.

A growing number of Nebraskans are calling on the state to pull out its investments in companies that are providing revenue for the genocide and that are providing little or no assistance to Sudanese civilians. To date, 7 states such as California, Oregon, Illinois, etc. and over a hundred universities and cities have divested from selected companies operating in Sudan to place economic pressure on the government to end the genocide and accept a strong international peacekeeping force.

Nebraska has jumped on board the movement with legislation that would pull out investments in targeted companies which meet certain criteria. Since the ultimate intent of Sudan divestment is to protect the victims of genocide, it is important to tailor divestment to have maximal impact on the government of Sudan's behavior and minimal harm to innocent Sudanese. Senator Ernie Chambers has already agreed to be the primary sponsor for this legislation, and it will be introduced in the upcoming session in January. It is important that we let our representatives know that we support such legislation. Please help out by signing this petition. It only takes a minute.

If you would like more information on Nebraska's divestment campaign or would like to become involved, please contact Stephanie Sutton at

If this is an idea about which you're passionate, an old-fashioned phone call to your state senator or Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper would certainly be helpful as well.

I believe Nebraska was part of the similar campaign in the 1980s to end South African apartheid - again, thanks to the leadership of Sen. Chambers. Enjoy him while we've got him, folks. This state will not see his like again.


Anonymous Elisia Harvey said...

Thanks for posting this, Kyle. This topic is especially relevant to Nebraska, home to many Sudanese refugees who have had to flee their war-torn country (mostly from the southern regions due to the civil war).

I always feel so helpless about these sorts of things because it seems like there's nothing I can do to help bring an end to such atrocities. But signing this petition can help in some small way. Targeted divestment seems to be the wisest type of economic sanction, because it hits Khartoum where it hurts (their pocketbook) while minimizing the consequences on the poor within the country.

Another site to check out is Save Darfur.

Now... what are we going to do about Zimbabwe?


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