IRD Supports Sudanese Presbyterian Claims against Talisman

on March 16, 2007


For almost five years, Sudanese Christians have been waiting to have their day in court. But that day has yet to come. With our amicus brief on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan and other appellants, IRD hopes to bring that day closer to realization.

            —Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director, Church Alliance for a New Sudan (CANS)



Washington, DC—On March 8, 2007, the IRD and nine others signers went on record to support the Presbyterian Church of Sudan in a lawsuit claiming damages from oil-fueled genocide in Sudan. A brief of amici curiae, appealing the dismissal of the case against the Canada-based Talisman Energy Company and the Republic of Sudan, was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by Cuneo Gilbert and LaDuca, LLP. Other signers of the brief were Christian Solidarity International-USA, the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, the Family Research Council, the Renew Network, Servant’s Heart, Sudan Advocacy Action Forum, Sudan Sunrise, the Sudan Ministry of the Trinity Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, SSC, Episcopal Bishop of Quincy.

Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director of the IRD’s Religious Liberty Program and its Church Alliance for a New Sudan, commented:

It is important for us to stand with the people of Southern Sudan and the Presbyterian Church of Sudan, and to document the atrocities, religious persecution, and Islamic jihad committed by the Sudanese government. Our brother and sister Christians, practitioners of traditional Nilotic religion, and Muslims who opposed the imposition of Shari’a paid a terrible price.  Over two million died, and five million were displaced, through Khartoum’s bombardment of civilian targets, scorched earth policies, government-orchestrated famine, revival of slavery, and other human rights violations.

We want to do what we can to afford Sudanese Christians the opportunity to testify to the egregious human rights violations and persecution which they endured.  In Southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains, Khartoum perfected the genocide being prosecuted against the African Muslim people from the Darfur region of western Sudan today.

We take no position on the technical legal issues that may decide this case. But we do want to make the Khartoum government and Talisman—which partnered with that government from 1998 to 2003, during the height of the genocide—answer for their actions.


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