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PRESS RELEASE: How Sudan Is Backsliding on Benchmarks Crucial to Peace: Rights Groups

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PRESS RELEASE: How Sudan Is Backsliding on Benchmarks Crucial to Peace: Rights Groups

Posted by Enough Team on April 29, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project, 202-386-1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org
Julia Thornton, Humanity United, 650-587-2016, jthornton@humanityunited.org
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, 202-460-6756, andrea@savedarfur.org
Joshua Berkman, American Jewish World Service, 212-792-2893, jberkman@ajws.org
Mame Annan-Brown, Genocide Intervention Network, 202-559-7409, annan-brown@genocideintervention.net
Gabriel Stauring, Stop Genocide Now, 310-415-2863, gabriel@stopgenocidenow.org
Susan Morgan, Investors Against Genocide, 617-797-0451, susan@paxcommunications.org
Ben Greenberg, Physicians for Human Rights, 617-510-3417, bgreenberg@phrusa.org

 

How Sudan Is Backsliding on Benchmarks Crucial to Peace: Rights Groups Why the U.S. Must Bring Pressure to Head Off Full-Scale War
 

READ the strategy paper by eight leading Sudan advocacy organizations
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A return to full-scale war can be headed off, say eight leading anti-genocide and Sudan advocacy organizations, but only if the Obama administration quickly implements its policy to pressure parties who are backsliding on benchmarks crucial to a durable peace in Sudan.

The Obama administration has stated that the parties in Sudan would be held accountable and incentives and pressures would be deployed in response to their measure of progress or backsliding on the ground.
 
Now, almost six months after the Obama administration’s initial Sudan policy review, which promised an assessment of certain leading indicators of progress – or lack thereof – the Obama administration has yet to make clear that it is actually pursuing its policy as stated while holding the parties accountable for their actions on the ground. To that end, an eight-member group of Sudan advocacy organizations has released an independent accounting and action plan, entitled “Grading the Benchmarks.”
 
“Grading the Benchmarks” argues that President Obama must own Sudan policy far more directly, and actually implement pressures and incentives where appropriate, or face growing risk that violence in Sudan will spiral.
 
The group includes the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Humanity United, American Jewish World Service, Genocide Intervention Network, iACT/Stop Genocide Now, Investors Against Genocide, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Save Darfur Coalition.
 
“A clear assessment of the situation on the ground in Sudan reveals a number of disturbing trends and the continued potential for much broader, renewed violence,” states Enough Project Executive Director John Norris. “However, we have yet to see a firm response from the administration despite its promise to bring a new approach to Sudan policy based on deeds, not rhetoric.”
 
The Obama administration built a diplomatic approach to Sudan around periodic, hard-nosed policy assessments of the situation on the ground. Yet to date, there are virtually no indications that the administration has held any of the parties to account for their actions.

“It’s been six months since President Obama’s Sudan policy went into effect and there has been no demonstrable progress towards peace, security, or justice in Sudan,” said Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition. “It’s time for the administration to back its words with deeds and increase the pressure on all parties in Sudan to end the conflict in Darfur, ensure a peaceful referendum for the South, and advance democracy and human rights throughout Sudan.”

READ “Grading the Benchmarks."
 
Also this week, Sudan Now, a campaign by anti-genocide and human rights organizations, has rolled out an ad campaign calling on President Obama to empower Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to take charge of implementing U.S. policy on Sudan. The organizations are running a series of print ads in the Washington Post and Washington Express, and in Politico.

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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, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. 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. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org

Humanity United is a philanthropic organization committed to building a world where mass atrocities and modern-day slavery are no longer possible. By helping to build permanent constituencies to end atrocities and slavery, supporting efforts that empower affected communities, and addressing the root causes of conflict and injustice, Humanity United seeks to help restore human dignity in places where it has been lost and to help create a lasting global peace. To learn more, visit www.HumanityUnited.org

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community. Visit www.ajws.org
 
Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently focused on conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Democratic Republic of Congo, among other areas of concern, Genocide Intervention Network envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities.  The organization is building a permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to prevent and stop genocide. For more information, please visit www.genocideintervention.net

i-ACT/Stop Genocide Now seeks to empower individuals within communities, institutions, and governments to take personal responsibility to act on behalf of those affected by genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity.  i-ACT is a global team dedicated to putting a face on the numbers of dead, dying, and displaced while creating mutually enriching relationships between those in danger and those willing and able to act, fostering a new culture of participation.  For more information, please visit www.stopgenocidenow.org
 
Investors Against Genocide is a non-profit organization dedicated to convincing mutual fund and other investment firms to change their investing strategy so as to avoid complicity in genocide. The organization works with individuals, companies, organizations, financial institutions, the press, and government agencies to build awareness and to create financial, public relations, and regulatory pressure for investment firms to change. The ultimate goals are that the Government of Sudan ends its deadly genocide in Darfur and that investment firms avoid investing in genocide. For more information, visit www.investorsagainstgenocide.org

Physicians for Human Rights(PHR) mobilizes the health professions to advance the health and dignity of all people by protecting human rights. As a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. For more information, visit www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

The Save Darfur Coalition –an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org