FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista Minteer, Human Rights First, (212) 845-5207
NEW YORK, June 19, 2008 – An international coalition of over 40 nongovernmental organizations from all eight countries represented by the G8 called today on their nations’ leaders to forcefully advocate for concrete and immediate steps to end the crisis in Darfur.
In an open letter sent today, the coalition, which is led by Human Rights First and includes nongovernmental organizations from Sudan itself and from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, called on G8 leaders to insist on specific measures to address the Darfur crisis in the outcome statement issued at the end of the July summit in Hokkaido, Japan. These measures include the cessation of violence, the immediate deployment of the peacekeeping force (UNAMID), a halt to all arms transfers to Darfur, a recommitment to peace processes, and justice and accountability for atrocities committed.
“The crisis in Darfur takes a break for nothing, including the G8 meetings. These leaders have the responsibility to use their influence to pressure both Sudan and its partners whose actions or support fuel the violence,” said Betsy Apple, director of the Crimes Against Humanity Program at Human Rights First.
“The time for more hand wringing is well past. G8 members should issue a clear and unequivocal statement that they will put their full weight behind ending the crisis in Darfur,” she added.
The coalition is calling for a stronger, more specific statement than one issued during last year’s summit to include issues such as the flow of arms into Darfur. The G8 summit provides an opportunity to urge states to stop all arms transfers to Darfur in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1591 which imposed an arms embargo prohibiting all countries from shipping weapons that go directly or indirectly to Darfur.
The coalition also seeks to address the violence in the region, through both increased peace efforts in Darfur and a recommitment to the North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Finally, recognizing that peace and justice are interrelated, the coalition wants the G8 to unequivocally stand for justice and accountability for atrocities committed by parties to the conflict.
“Efforts to establish peace have failed – violence is on the rise. Nobody is abiding by agreed terms, and nobody is being held accountable,” said Amir Mohamed Suliman, Chairperson of the Sudan-based Khartoum Center for Human Rights & Environmental Development.
The coalition members include:
Canada: STAND Canada, Save Darfur Canada, Canadians Against Slavery and Torture in Sudan
France: Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), Collectif Urgence Darfour Germany: Society for Threatened Peoples, Darfur-Hilfe Verein e.V
Italy: No Peace Without Justice, Italian Blogs for Darfur, Missionari Comboniani, Comitato Collaborazione Medica (CCM)
Japan: Japanese for Darfur, Human Rights Now
Russia: The Institute of Human Rights, The Moscow Helsinki Group, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights
Sudan: Sudan Social Development Organization, Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development
United Kingdom: Aegis Trust, Sudan Organization Against Torture, International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)
U.S.A.: Genocide Intervention Network, ENOUGH, Dream for Darfur, STAND, American Jewish World Service, Americans against the Darfur Genocide, Investors against Genocide, Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), Physicians for Human Rights, San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition: Darfur Peace and Development: Stop GENOCIDE Now, Team Darfur, Darfur Action Group-Northwest Bronx/Yonkers, Darfur Metro, Jews Against Genocide, New York City Coalition for Darfur, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, Genocide No More-Save Darfur, Humanity United, Jewish World Watch, SaveDarfurWashingtonState.
About the ENOUGH Project: ENOUGH is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007 with an initial focus on the crises in Sudan, Chad, 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. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.