Oil Firm Denies It Supports Sudanese Atrocities

NEW YORK, NOV. 14, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Sued for $1 billion in a class action lawsuit, a Canadian oil company contends it has promoted respect for human rights and an end to fighting in war-torn Sudan.

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Talisman Energy Inc., a Calgary, Alberta-based firm, was named in a suit launched last week by the Presbyterian Church of Sudan in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Talisman is a business partner of the radical Islamic regime in Sudan, which has been condemned by governments and human rights groups for genocide, forced starvation and slavery.

The Presbyterian Church of Sudan and two individuals in the suit charge Talisman with violations of international law for participating in the ethnic cleansing of black and non-Muslim minorities in southern Sudan.

«Our response to the action is that we dispute the allegations and we will defend ourselves,´´ Talisman spokesman Dave Mann said. «We´ve actively promoted transparency, respect for human rights and an end to the civil war in Sudan.»

But the Reverend John Sudan Gaduel, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan, said: «Talisman is on the front lines of human rights abuses in southern Sudan and it is time they are held accountable for their role in the brutal jihad that is killing my people.»

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