Sudan - WikiLeaks

Bashir stashed billions in UK, WikiLeaks

Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
2 min

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir siphoned billions of oil money to British bank accounts, US diplomats say in the latest WikiLeaks revelations. International prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo reportedly suggested using the information to undermine him politically.

Advertising

Bashir has salted away as much as 6.79 billion euros, Ocampo told the US officials according to the confidential cables, adding that Britain’s Lloyd’s Banking Group “may be holding or knowledgeable of the whereabouts of his money”.

Lloyds said it has “absolutely no evidence” of holding money in Bashir’s name.

Ocampo using the information to undermine support for Bashir, who is the subject of an international arrest warrant and is unpopular with Western powers.

"Ocampo suggested if Bashir's stash of money were disclosed (he put the figure at $9bn), it would change Sudanese public opinion from him being a 'crusader' to that of a thief," one report by a senior US official states.

"Ocampo suggested exposing Bashir had illegal accounts would be enough to turn the Sudanese against him."

The revelations could undermine the referendum on the status of South Sudan which is due to be held on 9 January, Robert Palmer of the Global Witness campaigning group says.

“There’s a history of mistrust between northerners and southerners over how national revenues are shared and these allegations, we are worried, will only heighten that mistrust,” he believes.

Global Witness has previously highlighted the alleged lack of transparency in the oil-revenue sharing agreement that is part of the basis for the peace agreement between the north and the south.
 

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning