While Secretary of State Rice was welcoming Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail in Washington, and reportedly promising to consider an end to sanctions, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois was signing a law requiring the divestment of $1 billion in state pension funds from companies that do business in the African country.
“The people of Illinois will not condone human rights abuses and genocide. We will take our money elsewhere,” Blagojevich said in a statement… He urged other states to adopt similar measures.
Similar legislation is pending in other states, and Harvard University also recently announced plans to stop Sudanese investments.
(I wonder if Rice asked Foreign Minister Ismail about his claim last year that rebels in Sudan’s Darfur region were being supported by you-know-who. I doubt even other Arab regimes bought that one.)
I posted in May about the Bush administration’s decreasing sense of urgency about the ongoing atrocities in Darfur. It appears that dismaying trend has continued.
I hope other states and other investors follow Illinois’s lead. At some point the rulers of Sudan will have to take notice. They don’t appear motivated so far to stop the mass rapes and murders by the Bush administration’s version of “constructive engagement.”
(Via The New Republic Online.)