Houston Condemns Business with Sudan

Houston Mayor Bill White is urging the city's pension board to make sure the city doesn't have any investments with companies that do business with the country of Sudan. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson has more.

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Houston Mayor Bill White sent letters to the chairs and members of the city's three pension fund boards. The letters outline the mayor's reasoning for asking the boardmembers to divest of any funds that may provide money to the Sudanese government. White says that government uses its share of energy production revenues to directly and indirectly finance military action against its own citizens.

"We can send a clear signal to the identified firms who have direct dealings with the Sudanese government, whose funds fund Sudanese military activities of the militias, and who have disregarded calls by the international community to adopt policies which would recognize their contribution to this heinous international crime."

White says there are between 20 and 30 public international companies, most of them based in China and India, that do business with Sudan. He's asked the pension fund managers to check the city's portfolios and divest from any companies that have connections with Sudan. Since 2003, at least 200,000 Sudanese have been killed in the government-driven genocide. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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