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Human-Rights Group Disappointed Darfur Not Factor in Buffett's PetroChina Sales

Sunday, 21 Oct 2007 | 4:32 PM ET

While the Save Darfur Coalition mildly "applauded" Berkshire Hathaway's PetroChina sales, even if they weren't driven by human-rights concerns, another group that's been urging Warren Buffett to divest is more direct in its criticism.

As Berkshire was selling PetroChina over the past month or so, Investors Against Genocide was suggesting Buffett was making a statement against China's business ties to the Sudanese government, which is accused of supporting mass killings in Darfur. In three statements spanning late September through early October, it used the same language: "It is increasingly clear that his pattern of sales indicates that he no longer wants to be associated with an investment that helps to fund genocide."

Now that Buffett has said Darfur was not a factor in the sales, the group is clearly disappointed:

"His statements indicate that Mr. Buffett, like many financial managers, has avoided his ethical responsibilities in the face of genocide. Contrary to assertions otherwise, ethical responsibility and fiduciary responsibility are not mutually exclusive."

Investors Against Genocide says it will continue to try to convince financial managers to divest, in part because "the vast majority of Americans want their investments to be genocide-free."

Questions? Comments? Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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