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STATEMENT: As U.N. General Downplays Crisis, Enough Project and Sudan Now Allies Stress Urgency For Obama Administration

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STATEMENT: As U.N. General Downplays Crisis, Enough Project and Sudan Now Allies Stress Urgency For Obama Administration

Posted by Enough Team on August 27, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress released the following statements today concerning the remarks of departing UNAMID commander Martin Luther Agwai, who declared, “As of today, I would not say there is a war going on in Darfur."

Enough Project Executive Director John Norris noted, “The outgoing commander is correct that there has been a lull in fighting in Darfur, but he entirely misses the big picture in doing so. What he and others conveniently fail to mention: the three million Darfuris stuck in refugee and displaced camps unable to return to their homes because of insecurity and violence. Instead of offering self-congratulatory remarks, the entire international community should be appalled that after more than six years they have failed to create the conditions on the ground that would allow displaced people to return home by disarming the janjaweed, holding perpetrators of earlier war crimes accountable, securing a viable peace deal, and putting a credible peacekeeping force in place.”

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast added, “The Obama administration is not leading a new peace process for Darfur; it is more energetically supporting a failed one. The United States must urgently lead a group of concerned nations—including Egypt and China—to offer sustained, high-level support for peace talks that focus on developing a draft peace proposal that addresses the core issues of the conflict and empowers the head mediator to reach a political settlement.”

This week a coalition of anti-genocide advocacy organizations announced the launch of a bold new campaign called Sudan Now: Keep the Promise [] The campaign challenges President Barack Obama and top U.S. administration officials to live up to their campaign and political promises by taking strong and immediate action to help end the international crisis in Sudan and bring a lasting peace to the people of that country. Members of the coalition include Humanity United, the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Stop Genocide Now, and Investors Against Genocide.

As part of the campaign’s launch, a series of print and online advertisements are appearing in national publications this week. The advertisements feature statements made by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Clinton, which focused on applying “real pressure” to, and ensuring “strong consequences” for, the government of Sudan. In sharp contrast, the U.S. administration’s current approach, according to Sudan Now members, seems to favor incentives and concessions over strong, comprehensive action.