As the Government of Sudan continues to bomb innocent civilians in the south, their business partner Talisman Energy continues to speak of its “constructive engagement.” And as Talisman sends massive revenues to Khartoum, this murderous regime denies that its campaign of aerial terror is aimed at civilians and humanitarian efforts, but rather is “hitting only military targets.”
What we have here is “mutually assured disingenuousness”: Talisman lies about the realities of its presence in Sudan, which helps Khartoum. And Khartoum, in turn, lies about the atrocities confirmed on a virtually daily basis from the ground in southern Sudan, helping Talisman obscure the scale of its role in Sudan’s massive human destruction and suffering. (Attached are a very recent Associated Press release and a UN dispatch [IRIN] on the bombings.)
Eric Reeves [November 28, 2000]
Smith College firstname.lastname@example.org
Northampton, MA 01063
But as the lies become more transparent, as Talisman becomes relentlessly more exposed in its vicious complicity, there will be an ever greater price to be paid in the capital markets. In addition to the divestment campaign that has pounded Talisman share price mercilessly—and only grows in strength and resolve—US capital market sanctions against Talisman are a topic of rapidly growing interest, and their likelihood only increases (look for a very prominent publication on this subject soon!).
So, as bad as things have been, they’re likely to get a whole lot worse when direct capital market sanctions get the serious attention they deserve (such sanctions would strip Talisman of its New York Stock Exchange listing, producing a free-fall in share price).
Talisman is trading today (late in the trading session) at $48.05, with a total market value of well under $7 billion (actually, about $6.6 billion [Canadian]). This price reflects a massive “Sudan discount,” probably in the range of 30%. That huge discount, for 10% of their business, makes Talisman a takeover candidate, an event for which Talisman’s perversely obdurate Jim Buckee will deserve full credit.
But meanwhile, it could be a very rough ride for shareholders who are wondering why a stock that has seen a 400% increase in net income this year is trading **below** last year’s (pre-divestment campaign) high. Sure, the energy sector has had some troubles (though crude oil prices remain for the present extremely high, something likely to change soon, and that will really “put the hurt” on Talisman’s forward cash flow). But Talisman is even now trading at well **under** three times this year’s cash flow per share.
And that’s just abysmal—as are Buckee & Co.’s moral attitudes towards the human suffering and destruction for which they are increasingly responsible.
SUDAN: Schoolchildren Flee Government Bombing Raids
UN Integrated Regional Information Network
November 27, 2000
Sudanese government planes carried out several bombing raids in the Eastern Equatoria region at the weekend, demolishing part of a school and causing people to flee in panic, humanitarian sources said on Monday.
The attacks began on Friday in Twic county, when 14 bombs were dropped in three raids, hitting the Panlit missionary school. Two classrooms were demolished and most of the 700 children at the school fled into the bush in panic or returned to their villages. A spokesman for the Sudan Production Aid (SUPRAID) non-governmental organisation, which works in the area, told IRIN the children were slowly trickling back from the bush, but they were too afraid to resume classes. In another raid, a herd of 73 cows was killed instantly.
On Saturday, more bombing raids took place near Turalei, causing mass panic. One old lady died of shock, but no other casualties have yet been reported. People are afraid to venture towards Turalei centre, and bush shops remained shut. The Nuer inhabitants of a displaced people’s camp fled and have not returned. SUPRAID said many of them were returnees from Western Upper Nile, and had probably gone back to that area.
The spokesman added this was the first time Twic county had been bombed consecutively two days in a row, and regional observers pointed out that the raids were probably a prelude to the “fighting season”. The local population is reported to be very nervous about the current situation in the area.
Sudanese air force bombs rebel-held town; 4 people killed
November 27, 2000
Web posted at: 12:25 PM EST (1725 GMT)
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Sudanese air force bomber dropped 17 bombs on a Sudanese town, killing four people and leaving 32 others seriously injured, a rebel spokesman said Monday.
The bombing of Ikotos, 280 kilometers (175 miles) east of Juba, occurred Monday morning, said Samson Kwaje, a spokesman for the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army in Kenya.
The town is 150 kilometers (95 miles) west of Lokichogio, a northwestern Kenyan border town used as a rear base by most aid agencies operating in rebel-controlled areas.
Among the dead was a senior statistician with the Sudan Relief and
Rehabilitation Association, the SPLA’s relief wing, who headed a team from Kenya to compile data on food shortages.
It was the third bombing in southern Sudan since Saturday, when the air force bombed two locations in Bahr el Ghazal province in southern Sudan’s northwest.
Kwaje said four people were killed in the bombings at Polit Abur on
Saturday. Nearby Mayen Abun was bombed Friday. Large numbers of people collect relief food at both locations.
On Friday, Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir said his army was not responsible for bombing Yei, another town in southern Sudan held by the SPLA.
But Norwegian People’s Aid and the rebels have said a government plane dropped 14 bombs in Yei on November 20, killing 18 people and injuring more than 50.
The Norwegian agency said Yei’s bombing was the latest in a series of air raids against the rebels. The Sudanese leader did not say who else might have bombed Yei.