Lawsuit Against Talisman Energy Moves Forward Vigorously
The class action lawsuit brought against Talisman Energy for its role in the oil-driven destruction of southern Sudan continues to move forward in US District Court. And as the case gathers strength, additional plaintiffs, and a powerful augmentation of evidence, attorneys for the Sudanese plaintiffs have announced that they are now including the Government of Sudan as a co-defendant. Human rights attorneys Carey R. D’Avino, PC and Stephen A. Whinston of Berger & Montague, PC, issued a press release today indicating they are filing an amended complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In addition, Taban Deng, former Governor of Unity State in the oil regions of southern Sudan and adviser to the plaintiffs’ counsel, declares in today’s press release that, “Talisman Energy finances and directs the Government of Sudan’s ethnic cleansing campaign and must be stopped before all of our villages are destroyed and all of the people are killed.” In his official capacity, Taban Deng had unusually good access to the evidence that will determine the outcome of the case.
Odds are increasing dramatically that the eventual disposition of the case will leave Talisman Energy facing hundreds of millions of dollars in legal liabilities.
For Immediate Release
Carey R. D’Avino, PC
1251 Avenue of the Americas, 42nd Floor
New York, NY 10020-1182
New York — February 25, 2002, human rights attorneys Carey R. D’Avino and Stephen A. Whinston of Berger & Montague, PC, announced the filing of an amended complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Talisman Energy Inc., adding the Islamic Government of Sudan as a co-defendant. The complaint alleges that Talisman and the government are violating the human rights of Christian and other non-Muslim minorities in Southern Sudan by conducting a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing to clear the land for oil exploitation.
“Talisman Energy finances and directs the Government of Sudan’s ethnic cleansing campaign and must be stopped before all of our villages are destroyed and all of the people are killed,” charges Taban Deng, the former Governor of Unity State in Southern Sudan, who is advising plaintiffs’ counsel.
More than 25,000 Christian and other non-Muslim Sudanese refugees now live in the United States. “We are demanding justice for the non-Muslim people of Southern Sudan,” explains Dak Thong, President of the Nuer Community Development Services in USA, one of the lead plaintiffs.
In 1997 Sudan was classified by the US Government as a state sponsor of international terrorism. On October 31, 2001, President Bush extended sanctions against Sudan declaring “the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the US.” The United States State Department announced on February 21, 2002 that it was suspending its efforts to mediate peace in Sudan because of the Government of Sudan’s recent helicopter gunship attack on a United Nations food distribution center which killed 26 civilians, most of them women and children.
The complaint alleges that Talisman and the Government of Sudan are deploying military force against the non-Muslim civilian population in an effort to create a “cordon sanitare” around the oil concessions.
The complaint seeks damages and injunctive relief on behalf of all non-Muslim Sudanese refugees and internally displaced persons.
Contact: Carey R. D’Avino (212) 278-1382
Stephen A. Whinston (215) 875-3097