The Times – At last, a way to stop the grotesque cruelty in Sudan<br/> The Darfur crisis is not insoluble. An oil trust fund is the answer, by Nick Donovan (head of research and policy at the Aegis Trust)

An oil embargo should be implemented immediately, and not withdrawn until the crisis is resolved. From 1999 to 2005 there was a 40-fold increase in Sudanese oil revenues. This paid for a $350 million increase in military expenditure, and provided the cash that Haroun funnelled to the Janjawid footsoldiers – paying each of them $117 per month. Oil sales now contribute up to 50 per cent of Khartoum’s annual revenue.

Ah, great idea. But shoot, this is an English-language newspaper, not a Chinese one. Once our Nick squares it with the Chinese, we’re off to the races!

Oh wait, maybe he already has!:

The way forward is an oil trust fund. This would distribute oil revenues for the provision of education, health and development projects and to the government of southern Sudan. A portion of any oil revenues could be held in reserve to act as a stabilisation fund and to pay reparations to Darfuri victims. The oil trust fund would secure oil supplies for India, Malaysia, China and others, and would preserve their lucrative contracts in the Sudanese oil industry. The only purpose of the programme would be to keep money away from the Sudanese military and Janjawid.

Brilliant idea! An oil trust fund! The oil revenue would go towards helping the poor! But it needs a catchy name that the administrators at the UN would feel proud to hang on their office doors. What about “Oil for Food”? It has a sort of nostalgic ring to it. So nostalgic, in fact, I’m sure a lot of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian bureaucrats won’t have any problem working it out. And hey, sounds like just the kind of thing the UN could really sink its teeth into.

If we in the international community learn from the mistakes of the past, we could successfully implement such a programme for Sudan.

Excuse me: Pffffft.