Blood and oil
April 25, 2007 7:56 AM   Subscribe

China's African oil safari turns bloody again. "Before dawn this morning At 0430 AM local time in Ogaden, the 'Dufaan' commando unit of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) conducted a military operation in the vicinity of Obala, 30km North-West of Degah-Bur in in Northern Ogaden." Sixty-five Ethiopians and nine Chinese were killed in an attack of an unprecedented scale. Another seven Chinese workers are being held by the ONLF. (BBCFocusAfrica interviews ONLF spokesman (.ram streaming audio))
posted by Abiezer (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah the African/Oil situation is, er, explosive. National Geographic did a good story on it recently Curse of the Black Gold.
posted by stbalbach at 8:21 AM on April 25, 2007

China is still the biggest buyer of oil from Sudan as well. I am surprised this sort of thing is not more common place. I suspect Africans have grown tired of foreign powers taking their resources -- with government approved support or not.
posted by chunking express at 9:03 AM on April 25, 2007

China are also now one of the largest foreign investors in Zimbabwe.
posted by PenDevil at 9:47 AM on April 25, 2007

This is a great post, thanks. Very few people realize how aggressively China is moving in on Africa.

I mean, really. Think Belgium of the 1890's.

This, of course is yet another instance when GWfudgebrainsBush has been caught asleep at the switch.
posted by From Bklyn at 10:21 AM on April 25, 2007

It's a matter of time before the Chinese start asserting their right to protect their economic interests in such regions with a greater military presence. They are already getting a foothold on the Pakistani coastline of the Arabian Sea, not far from the Horn of Africa.
posted by Azaadistani at 10:21 AM on April 25, 2007

China in Africa: A new Colonial Power. And the new site (slight difference).
posted by adamvasco at 11:12 AM on April 25, 2007

It's only a matter of time before Chinese military advisor's arrive in north and central Africa. Won't that make for interesting times.
posted by tkchrist at 3:40 PM on April 25, 2007

There was a report earlier this month that China's military ties with Sudan are strengthening. There's much more on military matters in the Jamestown report linked off the main link above.
posted by Abiezer at 4:00 PM on April 25, 2007

I deleted a bit in that comment just on having heard rumours of PLA soldiers already out there, as I had no evidence, but I see at one of the other Jamestown articles I'm not the only one to have heard similar:
Reportedly, of the tens of thousands of Chinese workers in Sudan, at least some—and some say many—are demobilized People's Liberation Army soldiers.
posted by Abiezer at 4:03 PM on April 25, 2007

Great post, Abiezer! Thank you.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:31 PM on April 25, 2007

In Ethiopia you can see the Chinese presence in a lot of remote areas. In February I was in the southern part of Ethiopia where you'll be traveling on really bumpy gravel roads for hours then all of a sudden there is a nice new road being constructed with lots of big Chinese trucks. Saw a few massive worker camps, all fenced off, housing the construction workers. In general I got a sense that the development was welcomed but there was some apprehension about what the trade-off would be in the long run.
posted by metaname at 6:23 PM on April 25, 2007

I can imagine that, perhaps in the latter half of the century, Africa could be embroiled in a proxy war between the US, the EU, China, and Russia over energy resources. China would work through the established governments against insurgent forces supplied, funded, and trained by the other powers.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:42 PM on April 25, 2007

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