FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seventeen anti-genocide and human rights organizations praised Senate Foreign Relations Chair Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for introducing the Sudan Peace and Stability Act, legislation directing U.S. government action to help prevent a return to full-scale war in Sudan.
“This bill spurs the developing momentum in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government to prevent a return to war between North and South Sudan and an end to the war in Darfur,” said Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast. “It is important that as Congress considers this legislation, there be further strengthening of the sections on accountability for war crimes and on consequences for war-mongering.”
“As the international community rightly increases its focus on the referendum and ensuring peace between North and South Sudan, Darfur should remain no less of a priority,” said Mark Lotwis, acting president of the Save Darfur Coalition. “We applaud Senators Kerry, Brownback, Feingold, Wicker, and Durbin for introducing a bill that will help address the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Darfur and push the regime in Sudan for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid and peacekeepers, independent human rights monitoring and a renewed viable Darfur peace process.”
“The bipartisan legislation establishes a framework for enduring U.S. efforts to advance peace and security in the region,” said Mark Hanis, president of the Genocide Intervention Network. “Rather than wait to respond to events after the fact, this legislation proactively addresses potential future challenges. It is a farsighted initiative that should be enacted as soon as possible.”
The bill requires the U.S. government to develop a strategy and report on its efforts and programs established to promote a democratic Sudan, pursue full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, support capacity building for the government of southern Sudan, should the South chose independence, and reinvigorate international efforts to engage on post-referendum issues. Additionally, this bill calls for the appointment of a senior official to the Darfur peace process, support for the International Criminal Court to bring those responsible for genocide and war crimes in Darfur to justice, and support for Darfuri civil society reconciliation mechanisms to build a lasting and sustainable peace in Darfur.
The 17 supporting anti-genocide and human rights advocacy organizations include:
Enough Project at Center for American Progress