NGOs Applaud Bipartisan Sponsorship of 'Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act'

Date: 
Apr 24, 2013

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, +1-202-386-1618

WASHINGTON - On April 24, 2013, Rep. Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. McGovern (D-MA), along with 22 other original co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 1692 - the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013.This legislation is welcomed and supported by a coalition of nonprofit organizations including The Enough Project, United to End Genocide, American Jewish World Service, Jewish World Watch, and Act for Sudan.

The “Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act of 2013” would create a comprehensive U.S. strategy to end serious human rights violations in Sudan, provide genuine accountability for persons who have committed or assisted in serious human rights violations, support Sudanese aspiration for democratic reforms, encourage other governments and persons to end support of and assistance to the government of Sudan, and reinvigorate genuinely comprehensive and sustainable peace efforts that can end Sudan’s multiple crises.

“The bill comes at a critical moment: 2013 marks ten years from the start of crimes in Darfur that the U.S. government found to constitute genocide,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw. “It calls for a strategy that embraces the need for democratic change within Sudan and deals with the root causes of the human rights crisis unfolding in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and continued unrest in Darfur and Abyei."

“With the introduction of this new Sudan legislation, the message is clear: the crisis in Sudan is far from over and neither should be the outcry for peace, security, and accountability,” said United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews. “The spreading abuses of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir show that the cost of inaction is human life. We thank the courageous lawmakers who are standing with the people of Sudan and demanding action to protect those at risk.”

"With ongoing government-sponsored mass atrocities and grave human rights violations in Sudan, this legislation is a crucial step towards creating effective policy that re-asserts the important role the U.S. should play in saving lives, encouraging democratic transformation and ending impunity,'' said Act for Sudan Co-Founder Martina Knee.

“Ten years after beginning our campaign to end the genocide in Darfur, we are gravely concerned that the Sudanese government is blocking the delivery of food and medicine and bombing its own people," said American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger. "This legislation is a step in the right direction towards ending this unacceptable assault on human dignity."

The legislation seeks to do the following:

  • Create a strategy focused on all of Sudan;
  • Demand free and unfettered access for international humanitarian aid to all parts of Sudan and take steps to mitigate the lack of such humanitarian aid;
  • Promote free and transparent democratic reform in Sudan;
  • Increase engagement with other stakeholders who have influence over the Sudanese government in Khartoum, such as the African Union, Arab League, and China;
  • Create a broad-based sanctions regime to target governments and individuals whose support assists the Sudanese government in committing serious human rights abuses;
  • Seek more effective enforcement of existing sanctions including adequate resources and personnel and extending to all of the existing Sudan sanctions regimes included in prior enacted legislation that were specific only for “Darfur”; and
  • Provide genuine accountability for crimes committed in Darfur and encourage other countries to expand international accountability efforts to include crimes committed in other regions of Sudan.

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.