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President Bashir Tests New Obama Policy on Sudan

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President Bashir Tests New Obama Policy on Sudan

Posted by Enough Team on November 6, 2009

 

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2009
Contact
Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376
eread@enoughproject.org
Andrea Clarke, 202.460.6756
andrea@savedarfur.org
Mame Annan-Brown, 202.483.2701
annan-brown@genocideintervention.net

 

President Bashir Tests New Obama Policy on Sudan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the news that President Omar al-Bashir plans to travel to Turkey and Egypt in the coming days, President Obama faces the first test of his recently announced Sudan policy.
The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, the Save Darfur Coalition, and the Genocide Intervention Network jointly released the following statement in reaction:
If President Obama and Secretary Clinton are unwilling to engage in personal diplomacy at the highest level to ensure that a wanted war criminal does not continue to travel with impunity to the capitals of key U.S. allies, it will send a powerful message that the administration isn’t serious about implementing the Sudan strategy it just announced.
John Norris, Executive Director of the Enough Project, noted, “For Turkey, a member of NATO and an aspiring member of the European Union, to welcome President Bashir is frankly baffling. If Turkey is truly committed to the values that would make membership of the European Union possible, it should quickly make clear that President Bashir is absolutely unwelcome.”
Jerry Fowler, President of the Save Darfur Coalition, added, “President Bashir’s travel is a test of the administration’s resolve on Sudan. If the President and Secretary of State let it happen without objection, Khartoum will get the message that the newly stated commitment to multilateral leadership is hollow. And for Turkey, it’s an opportunity to align itself with the E.U., most Latin American countries, and the emerging practice in sub-Saharan Africa: Convey to Bashir that he shouldn’t come unless he wants to risk arrest upon landing.”
Sam Bell, Executive Director of Genocide Intervention Network, added, “Given the depth and breadth of U.S. engagement with Egypt, it is striking that the situation in Sudan – and Bashir’s status as a war criminal – don’t appear t be part of the recent conversation among senior officials. How can the administration expect to effectively implement its new plan if it doesn’t make Sudan a top priority?”
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About the coalition: The Save Darfur Coalition – an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. The coalition's member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org.
 
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. 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. Visit www.enoughproject.org.
 
About Genocide Intervention Network – Genocide Intervention Network is working to build the first permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to stop genocide when it occurs.  Accessible online at www.GenocideIntervention.net, Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals with the tools to stop genocide. Visit www.genocideintervention.net.