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3 Jul 2015

Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today (UK)

Church of England to divest shares in Soco Intl. over human rights & other concerns

"Church of England divests from oil firm over 'allegations of corruption' ", 2 July 2015

The Church of England has decided to sell all its shares in the British oil company SOCO International following a series of allegations of bribery, corruption and human rights abuses... [The Church said its] concerns [raised with SOCO] have specifically addressed [issues including] the need for "a wide ranging and transparent independent enquiry addressing the allegations of bribery, corruption and human rights abuses..." 

SOCO agreed...last summer that it would not carry out oil exploration within the Congo park, but there are still concerns about what will happen if the park boundary is altered... SOCO [recently] told shareholders that a review by Clifford Chance had found the bribery allegations to be "substantially inaccurate" and that there was no evidence of intimidation.  SOCO told Christian Today it will be making no statement because the company does not comment on individual relationships with shareholders.  [also refers to News Corp., Vedanta Resources]

Part of the following timelines

Dem. Rep. of Congo: Soco has announced that it will end its operations in Virunga National Park says WWF

DRC considers opening up Virunga national park to oil exploration - includes comments by Soco