For Immediate Release
June 4, 2009
Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376
STATEMENT: Obama Should Have Said More About Darfur
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Enough Project, the Save Darfur Coalition, and the Genocide Intervention Network today issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's remarks in Cairo:
If the Cairo speech was intended to outline shared challenges that America and the Muslim world should confront together, President Obama’s failure to call for a joint push for peace in Sudan is a glaring omission. A passing reference to suffering in Darfur is insufficient.
"The President rightly called the situation in Darfur 'a stain on our collective conscience,'” said Enough Project Executive Director John Norris, "but that is not enough. The president needs to articulate a clear vision of how a lasting peace is going to be achieved for all of Sudan, and demonstrate through his actions rather than just his words that this is a political priority. The situation in Darfur deserves more than a single sentence of the president's attention."
Jerry Fowler, President of the Save Darfur Coalition, noted, "President Obama missed an important opportunity in his Cairo speech to the Muslim world by not reiterating his commitment to lead for peace in Sudan, where 2.7 million Muslim civilians have been driven from their homes and hundreds of thousands have perished because of violence orchestrated by the government. President Obama could have asked all governments in the region to join him in offering a choice to Khartoum between concrete progress toward peace, which will result in improved relations, or continued obstructionism and use of violence, which will lead to increased isolation."
Sam Bell, Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network, added, "Candidate Obama promised in his campaign that addressing the situation in Sudan would be a very high priority. I am not sure that all those watching, in the Arab world and at home, will come away with that same impression after today's speech."
Visit the Enough Project’s blog, Enough Said, for updates on this issue.