Tags: Sudan | Abuses | Raise | Ire

Sudan Abuses Raise Ire

Monday, 30 April 2001 12:00 AM

"The U.S. should prohibit any foreign company from raising capital or listing its securities in U.S. markets as long as it is engaged in the development of oil and gas fields in Sudan," the Commission demanded in a report released Monday.

Earlier this month, Church Alliance for a New Sudan had alerted the world to the link between the development of oil fields in southern Sudan and the Khartoum government's persecution of Christians and animists in that region.

In a document distributed by Church Alliance, Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees, explained that Sudanese government forces and militias were "displacing, slaughtering and enslaving" the inhabitants of oil-rich areas to "clear" them for exploitation.

European, Canadian and Far Eastern corporations have entered partnerships with Sudan's government-owned Greater Nile Petroleum company to tap what Catholic Bishop Macram Max Gassis termed "a source of hell" - the immense oil riches in areas mostly settled by non-Muslims.

These companies would be barred from U.S. capital markets if the Bush administration adopted the policy recommended by the Religious Freedom Commission. They include: Talisman Energy of Canada, TotalFina of France, Lundin of Sweden, Petronas of Malaysia, Chinese National Petroleum Co. and Russian companies.

"Oil has brought 50,000 Chinese and Canadians to our doorstep, in collusion with our killers," Sudanese Christian leaders told the Rev. Herb McMullen, an Episcopal priest from Fairfax, Va., during his recent fact-finding tour.

During the last 18 years, more than 2 million people have died in what international Christian leaders have termed Sudan's genocide.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom also urged the administration to make companies doing business in Sudan "disclose the nature and extent of that business in connection with their access to U.S. capital markets."

The commission's report blasted China as well for its expanded crackdown on religious groups. "The government has intensified its campaign against the Falun Gong movement and its followers. It apparently has been involved in the confiscation and destruction of up to 3,000 unregistered buildings and sites in southeastern China.

"It continues to interfere in the training and selection of religious leaders and clergy. At the same time, the government continues to maintain tight control over Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists. Finally, cases of torture by Chinese government officials reportedly are on the rise."

As in the case of Sudan, the commission urged the Bush administration to require companies doing business in China "to disclose the nature and extent of that business in connection with their access to U.S. capital markets.

The report states, "Until religious freedom significantly improves in China, the U.S. Government, led by the personal efforts of the President of the United States, should initiate a resolution to censure China at the annual meeting of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and should have sustained campaign to convince other governments at the highest level to support it."

The commission also criticized the violation of religious rights in India, Indonesia, Iran, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and Vietnam.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The U.S. should prohibit any foreign company from raising capital or listing its securities in U.S. markets as long as it is engaged in the development of oil and gas fields in Sudan, the Commission demanded in a report released Monday. Earlier this month, Church...
Sudan,Abuses,Raise,Ire
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2001-00-30
Monday, 30 April 2001 12:00 AM
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