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From worker-brc-announce@lists.tao.ca Mon Nov 13 17:01:31 2000
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 14:26:39 -0500
From: Art McGee <amcgee@igc.org>
Reply-To: africafund@igc.org
Subject: [BRC-ANN] Talisman: Blood and Oil in Sudan
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Talisman: Blood and Oil in Sudan

By Gwynne Middleton, the Africa Fund, July 2002


While oil flows from a pipeline in Sudan so does the blood of millions of Sudanese citizens who live in the midst of a constant battlefield. Racial and ethnic tensions exacerbated by the British colonial power dynamics in Sudan led to a civil war that broke out in 1955, the year before the African country gained independence. This war splits along a north/ south fault line. Military and religious fundamentalists control the Sudanese government in Khartoum. In this war, government forces seek to destroy Southern efforts at self- determination and all Sudanese efforts to establish a secular state. The war in Sudan is the world’s longest running conflict. Between 1955 and today, Sudan has experienced only one period of peace (1972-1983) when a truce was in place.

In the past sixteen years of renewed fighting, two million people have died. In this current phase, the war has escalated due, for the most part, to the Canadian oil company, Talisman Energy, Inc., whose financial stake in an oil project in southern Sudan not only fuels the war but also the abominable human rights abuses visited upon the civilians of the country.

Slave Stock Investments

Talisman Energy has invested over $250 million dollars in the development of the oil fields in southern Sudan and in the 1,000-mile pipeline that carries the oil to Port Sudan. Sudan is an impoverished country that has been denied IMF funding and has been inundated with U.S. sanctions, but it has a commodity, oil, that some countries want. With oil revenues at $1 million a day that equal the amount spent daily on the war effort, the government’s operation of domestic terror against its own population can seemingly continue unchecked.

Today about 155,000 barrels a day of that crude oil flows north through the pipeline, and millions in profits are pouring into the treasury of the repressive military regime that seized governmental power in a 1989 coup. Led by General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Khartoum regime perpetuates the human rights atrocities visited upon civilians, especially in the South. They cannot deny the massive civilian destruction they continue to wreak on the South including the following:

While Western countries, including the U.S., give upwards of $250 million a year to feed and provide medical care for victims of its interminable war, they fail to place as much energy into the elimination of the very need for war relief aid. If sincere efforts are directed toward the attainment of self-determination for the South and democracy for all Sudan, then a more humane future for all Sudanese citizens can be secured.

One way a war may end is when one of the sides’ resources becomes exhausted. With Talisman’s choice to start an oil project in Sudan, an unlimited source of financial income and fuel has now been made available to the repressive military regime in northern Sudan. Until that steady flow of oil and money stops, no hope for stability and lasting peace can be expected for a country torn apart by a civil war that has virtually lasted as long as it has stood as an independent country.

Don’t Finance War with Your Pension Fund!

Divest from Talisman Energy today! A number of organizations already have.

Find out if your mutual funds and institutional pension funds invest in Talisman Energy Inc. If they do, pressure the companies to divest from Talisman Energy, Inc. Don’t stand by and allow your future retirement plan finance a civil war in Sudan that escalates with the increased availability of oil and adversely affects millions of African civilians through slaughter, injury, displacement, and enslavement. Join the growing Talisman divestment campaign as a show of your support for the termination of slavery and other human rights violations that will continue to occur in Sudan until this devastating war ends.