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In Sudan, since Talisman has been involved in the project, our management is unaware of any instances of civilian displacement occurring without compensation. In fact, it is Talisman’s understanding that when drilling occurred at an exploratory well location known as “Timsah”, consent was obtained from the farmers in the area and compensation was provided to them (for the removal of trees and damage to planted [sorghum or durra]). Compensation has also been paid to farmers whose crops were damaged by seismic survey activities.1276 The suggestion that Talisman management was unaware of any instances of uncompensated displacement is disingenuous in light of the extensive evidence already publicly available at that time concerning forced displacement from the GNPOC concession during Talisman’s tenure. Talisman also offered no details of or evidence for its assertion that compensation had been paid in the cases it mentioned.
Development Initiatives and Relief Donations Talisman also engaged in various development initiatives in Sudan, for which it hired three full-time employees. Talisman distributed a draft community development policy, which identified four primary focus areas (water, health, learning, and capacity building), to NGOs operating in Sudan and some 1275 Talisman Energy, Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2000, p. 18.
1276 Reg Manhas, letter to Human Rights Watch, September 13, 2000.
Sudanese in Canada for input and advice.1277 Many NGOs, however, told Human Rights Watch that they would not be comfortable collaborating with Talisman because it would make them appear non-neutral, given that Talisman was a business partner of the government, conducting its oil operations under military guard.1278 Thus Talisman did not find any NGOs with which to cooperate.
Talisman nevertheless said it built five medical clinics in the concession area, of which two were fully staffed and operational (Pariang and Rubkona, both garrison towns) as of September 2000, although this was not independently confirmed. It drilled four high capacity water wells in Pariang, Rubkona, Dabbat, and Kummagon, and completed maintenance of twenty-eight water wells in communities along the pipeline between Khartoum and Heglig,1279 mostly in the north.
However, local people pointed out to a visiting journalist that a school that Talisman had built was a shell. “There are no desks, no schoolbooks nor food for the students and no water.” One local relief worker chastised the oil companies for taking a picture of a school and displaying it “over and over to show how good they are.... What use is a house if there aren’t even any pens or paper.” The clinic that Talisman built in Rubkona is located in the middle of the army’s housing and far from the displaced camps, the local people complained to the journalist.1280 Talisman also supported or planned to support many activities outside its concession, mostly in the pipeline area but others far away from the pipeline. For instance, it was looking into supporting a women and small business development project in Khartoum among women originally from the village of Pariang; nomad desert agriculture and communuty development north of Khartoum; hafir water storage 1277 Ibid.
1278 HRW interviews, various, 1999-2000.
1279 Reg Manhas, letter to Human Rights Watch, September 13, 2000.
1280 Koblanck, “Lundin Oil’s road/DN in Sudan,” April 28, 2001.
development and training for repair along the pipeline route in northern Sudan;1281 and development of a hafir to supply fodder crops south of Babanoosa in Western Kordofan for the Baggara. The latter program, which was still in the “idea” stage—Talisman requested suggestions as to where this hafir should be located—was hoped to reduce Baggara need to travel south into Western Upper Nile/Unity State and thus reduce friction and conflict with southerners.
The community development document also listed other activities that would take place outside of the south, such as the funding for import of free medical instruments, equipment, supplies, and drugs to medical teaching facilities and the Red Crescent in Khartoum; a primary school outside Port Sudan; and a vocational training center in Rabak, across the White Nile from Kosti; and upgrading an existing vocational center in Wad Medani, both northern towns home to large numbers of internally displaced originally from Western Upper Nile/Unity State.1282 The total funds approved in the community development document were Canadian $ 742,564.43 (U.S. $ 503,437), of which 52.1 percent were for outside the south; removing the emergency funds for Bentiu and Rubkona from the budget (Canadian $ 150,000 or U.S. $ 101,696), the amount assigned outside the south was 63.7 percent. Inside the south, it was 36.3 percent, little more than one-third of the Talisman development funds.
Talisman provided supplies when the influx of internally displaced from the Blocks 5A and 4 oilfield fighting hit Bentiu and Rubkona in August 2000. Almost 59,000 internally displaced were registered by WFP at the time. Many arrived with their cattle, causing sanitation and health problems in the urban area. Talisman issued a press release saying that it had provided medical supplies, one hundred large tents, five hundred mosquito nets, and established a temporary clinic for 220 patients a day.1283 Talisman 1281 Hafirs are an ancient low-tech method of collecting, holding, and filtering rainwater in areas lacking access to a suitable underground aquifer.
1282 Talisman (Greater Nile) B.V., “Community Development Strategy – 2001,” undated, pp. 6-8.
1283 Claudia Cattaneo, “Talisman lending a hand to Sudan refugees,” National Post (Toronto), August 23, 2000.
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stated that the NGO cooperation (that had for so long eluded it) was finally taking place. “We’re working alongside the non-governmental agencies as part of a team,” said Mark Reading, one of several Talisman workers involved in the effort.1284 Several organizations, however, hastened to dissociate their relief activities in Bentiu from Talisman.1285 Six NGOs operational in that government-held area of
Western Upper Nile/Unity State1286 issued a press release that stated :
While we acknowledge that Talisman (GNPOC) is providing assistance towards the needs, we strongly object to Talisman Energy’s allegations that they are working together as a team with the international humanitarian community. Talisman’s public statements infer a relationship that does not exist in Unity State.1287 Talisman’s document, “Community Development Strategy – 2001,” updated its activities as of October 30, 2000, noting that under the category “emergency relief” it approved Canadian. $100,000 in funds for Bentiu and Mayom, mostly tents, tarplins, mosquito nets, medicine, and logistical support, in a project that was “on-going in cooperation with Peace Advisory Council” in Bentiu and with local authorities in 1284 Ibid.
1285 One consideration facing these organizations was that the SPLM/A had already declared Talisman a military target, so that association with Talisman might result in the NGO also being targeted, a consequence Talisman may not have considered.
1286 CARE, Oxfam, German Agro Action (GAA), Fellowship for African Relief (FAR), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), and International Volunteer Organization for Cooperation (OCVI).
Inter-Church Commission on Africa press release, Toronto, September 8, 2000.
1287 Inter-Church Commission on Africa press release, Toronto, September 8, 2000. Commenting further on Talisman’s newsletter, the press release stated, “Talisman has merely ‘consulted’ those organizations’ documents and made it sound like engagement, dialogue and cooperation are ongoing.” Ibid.
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Mayom, thus reinforcing the government’s presence and activities in the area.1288 Furthermore, the development program, according to the Talisman document, was “designed and managed in close cooperation with GNPOC Security” and the ministry of energy and mining of Sudan.1289 Talisman’s charitable contributions to Sudan in 2000 amounted to only a fraction of one percent of Talisman’s post-tax revenue.1290 Talisman spent about $ 1 million in fifteen Sudanese community development projects in 2000.1291 Talisman planned to spend U.S. $ 2 million on community development in 2001, doubling the 2000 amount, and GNPOC would increase its 2000 community development contribution of U.S. $ 600,000 to $ 1.8 million in 2001.1292 Actually, in 2001, Talisman spent only U.S. $ 819,541 (of which $ 190,687 was carried over from 2000) on its own projects, and U.S. $ 617,327 (estimated) on GNPOC community development projects, or a total of approximately U.S. $ 1,436,868 in all in 2001.1293 This is equal to.09 percent of Talisman’s 2001 post-tax revenue.1294
Talisman Condemned at Annual Meeting 2001
1288 Talisman (Greater Nile) B.V., “Community Development Strategy – 2001,” undated, appendix (October 30, 2000).
1289 Ibid, p. 1.
1290 The total net income available to shareholders in 2000 was U.S. $ 835 million, and Sudan social spending was U.S. $ 1 million, or 0.12 percent of total net income. The comparable amounts were post-tax income of U.S. $ 709 million in 2001, with Sudan social spending of U.S. $ 1.437 million, or 0.2012 percent of total net income. Talisman Energy, 2002 Annual Report, March 4, 2003, p.
38; Talisman Energy, Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2000, p. 23; Talisman Energy, Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2001, pp. 11, 23.
1291 Talisman Energy, Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2000, p. 23.
1292 Alistair Lyon, “Talisman hopes work in Sudan will silence critics,” Reuters, Khartoum, January 22, 2001.
1293 Talisman Energy, Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2001, pp. 11, 23. Talisman approved a U.S. $ 2 million community development work plan for 2001, but because it was not all expended, it put the balance (U.S. $ 581,515) into a trust. Ibid., p. 11.
1294 For the year 2002, in which Talisman sold out its interest in Sudan, it issued a Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2002 that did not include social spending information on Sudan comparable to that of 2001.
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Despite Talisman’s efforts, Canadian churches kept up the pressure on the company. A delegation of Canadian church leaders called for foreign oil companies to stop operating in Sudan until the civil war was ended. Rev. Bill Phipps, former moderator of the largest church in Canada, the United Church of Canada, led a week-long delegation from five churches on a trip to southern Sudan in April 2001 (visas to visit the government areas were refused), and criticized the Talisman corporate and social responsibility report issued in April 2001.
“We are outraged that a Canadian company is a major producer of oil located in southern Sudan, paying huge royalties” to the Khartoum government, the delegation’s statement said.1295 Talisman’s first quarter earnings were very good, and the company issued its first shareholder dividend.1296 Critics of Talisman gathered at its annual meeting on May 1, 2001, in Calgary to demonstrate in favor of Talisman withdrawing from Sudan. Others lined up inside the meeting to ask questions about Sudan from the floor.1297 Amnesty International called on Talisman to do more to safeguard human rights in Sudan, concluding that the corporate social responsibility report did “not adequately address the issue of the human rights impact of the company’s operations in Sudan.”1298 A Canadian group of nongovernmental organizations, the Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group of Canada (SIARG), had commissioned a report on human rights abuses in the GNPOC concession. The two-person investigative team conducted field work in April 2001 and issued a short preliminary statement on their findings, that human rights abuses were continuing inside the concession, 1299 with an 1295 “Church officials say foreign oil companies should stop Sudan operations,” AP, Ottawa, April 10, 2001.
1296 “Talisman Energy posts Q1 profit of $346 million,” Canadian Press, Calgary, May 1, 2001, http://www.canoe.ca/MoneyNews/may1_talisman-cp.html (accessed May 3, 2001); James Stevenson, “Sudan overhangs Talisman annual meeting despite record profit, new dividend,” CP, Calgary, May 1, 2001.
1297 “Sudan overhangs Talisman annual meeting....”; Jeffrey Jones, “Talisman CEO faces human rights critics...,” May 1, 2001.
1298 Amnesty International press release, “Sudan – Talisman Energy must do more to protect human rights,” London, May 1, 2001.
1299 Preliminary Report, May 15, 2001. The full report was issued in October 2001, and presented at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London on October 15, 2001, where Talisman CEO Jim Buckee was one of three keynote speakers on