U of T Sudan Divestment sign now

The purpose of this brief is to outline reasons for the University of Toronto (U of T) to pursue a program of targeted divestment from businesses that directly and indirectly contribute to the atrocities being committed by the Sudanese government in Darfur. We hope that this brief will convince you to sign our divestment petition to the U of T Governing Council.

The Sudanese government continues to wage a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the black African population of Darfur, the western region of Sudan. The well-documented human rights abuses include mass rape of young girls and women, murder of innocents, and destruction of villages. The carnage includes over 400,000 slaughtered, 2.5 million displaced, and over 50\% of Darfurs population now reliant on humanitarian aid. The UN calls Darfur the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Despite many attempts by the international community to ease the crisis, the slaughter continues and threatens to spill over to neighbouring countries such as Chad.

Because Sudans government relies on foreign direct investment, a divestment program that encourages companies to withdraw from Sudan will reduce the Sudanese governments ability to support its campaign of mass killing and rape and increase international pressure on the Sudanese government to end the brutality. Over a dozen North American colleges, universities, states, and cities have already implemented restrictions on investing in companies doing business in Sudan. We cannot allow our institution to invest in companies that may provide funds for the Sudanese government to pursue their ethnic cleansing campaign. Instead, we should use our position as one of North Americas leading and most prestigious educational institutions to influence outcomes in Darfur.

We are petitioning university to pursue a limited targeted divestment campaign, one that focuses on multi-national corporations which operate in conjunction with the Sudanese government or whose revenues clearly help to fund the Sudanese government but fail to deliver a measurable social good to the people of Sudan. Thus, we do not support divestment from companies that provide goods and services that relieve suffering or provide welfare to the people of Sudan.

We recognize the basic investment principle that maximum economic return should be the criterion for the purchase and sale of stock in all normal circumstances. We believe that financial concerns with divestment can be settled. There is no investment type that is unique only to Sudan (e.g. industry sector, etc.). Investments in companies operating in Sudan can be moved to economically equivalent alternatives, and a divestment campaign will not result in a single investment type being excluded from the U of T. Because economically equivalent alternatives exist, divestment will not hamper U of Ts ability to maximize economic return in its purchase and sale of stock.

The crisis in Darfur has gone on far too long, and we must not be complicit in crimes against humanity.

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Magdalena MaciasBy:
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Petition target:
U of T Governing Council

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