FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Eileen White Read(202-741-6376)
ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Washington, DC, September 24, 2008 – While the Darfur region of Sudan remains in a deep crisis, there are three significant opportunities immediately for the United States to push for a lasting peace for all of Sudan, Enough Project Co-Chair John Prendergast told the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom at a hearing on Capitol Hill today.
Mr. Prendergast cited “crucial opportunities the United States must urgently seize to prevent Sudan’s slide into full scale war.” The three opportunities include: the move by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for an indictment against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir; the growing prospect of a peace process for Darfur that would include both civil society groups inside Sudan and a wide umbrella of Darfuris in the U.S.; and the countdown to national elections in 2009 and a self-determination referendum for southern Sudan in 2011.
“In the absence of real investment in peacemaking and peace implementation, the crisis in Darfur will deepen and the CPA will collapse,” Mr. Prendergast told the Commission. “If Darfur continues to deteriorate, the likelihood increases dramatically of a return to what was—for 20 years—a far more destructive war in the South.”
Calling for a “peace surge for Sudan,” Mr. Prendergast delivered to the Commission a new eight-page strategy paper, “Sudan: Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis,” detailing the roots of the Sudan crisis and its possible solutions, which he co-authored with Enough Project Policy Advisor Colin Thomas-Jensen. The report is posted on the Enough Project web site, www.enoughproject.org.
About the ENOUGH Project – ENOUGH is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. With an initial focus on the crises in Darfur, Chad, eastern Congo, and northern Uganda, ENOUGH’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.