In March 2007, the Union for Reform Judaism joined the campaign calling for targeted divestment from Sudan that has been quickly growing on state, city, and university levels. The goal of a majority of these campaigns is the withdrawal of investment of private and government funds from companies that either do business in Sudan or with the government of Sudan with the goal of influencing the government through economic means to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Since 1988, the United States has maintained a range of economic sanctions against the government of Sudan; since 1997, the United States has prevented U.S. owned companies from operating there. However, many individuals, mutual funds, and businesses remain invested in companies that continue to do business in Sudan. Since the genocide began in Darfur, the government’s revenue stream has continually improved, specifically through investment by foreign firms, particularly those in the oil sector. The profit from these investments plays a significant role in supplying funding for the entire Sudanese budget, including funding for military campaigns.
The goal of divestment is eliminating this income to the government with the purpose of diminishing available funds and thus paralyzing state-sponsored violence. By removing funding for companies that support the government in Khartoum through foreign investments, the campaign seeks to force the government to cease funding the military and militia violence in Darfur.