Black Activists Commend White House Action in Darfur Crisis
For Release: April 6, 2006
Contact: David Almasi or Peyton Knight at 202/543-4110
or [email protected]
With negotiations to resolve the human rights crisis in the Sudanese province of Darfur at an impasse, members of the black leadership network Project 21 applaud the Bush Administration for its work to promote human rights and stop further violence against the residents of that embattled African region.
"This is America in one of her finest hours. Our nation has taken a firm stand against ethnic cleansing and genocide," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin, who has participated in many of the recent demonstrations held outside of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington. "The White House has effectively worked with Congress and alongside a politically diverse coalition of grassroots activists to condemn the actions of the Sudanese government and stop further bloodshed on the African continent."
The Sudanese government began air raids and allowed militia-led ground attacks on villages in the Darfur region in 2003 in response to rebel attacks on government facilities. The violence thus far is estimated to have resulted in around 180,000 deaths. The crisis in Darfur is called genocide by a wide array of international observers.
With negotiations between the Sudanese government and the rebels currently at an impasse, President George W. Bush has sent Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick to add his expertise in brokering a settlement. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at a news conference on May 1 that the President feels "very strongly and very passionately" about ending the violence in Darfur and disbursing the Janjaweed militias.
In February of 2006, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton used his authority as the monthly president of the U.N.'s Security Council to bring up the issues of genocide and ethnic cleansing over the objections of China and Russia - who have vital interests in Sudan. Furthermore, Secretary Rice has suggested involving NATO and/or the U.N. peacekeeping forces in a "robust" role to support the 7,000 African Union troops currently struggling to maintain order in Darfur.
"The philosopher-statesman Edmund Burke said, 'All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.' We must not allow the radical and violent elements to prevail in Darfur," said Project 21's Martin. "With Osama Bin Laden's recent call for a jihad against order in Darfur, Secretary Rice understands the region is yet another front in the War on Terrorism. But, security interests notwithstanding, the United States should always show leadership against ethnic cleansing and genocide. Future presidents and lawmakers should never force our nation to feel the shame it did in 1994 when our failure to act allowed genocide to occur in Rwanda."
For more information, contact David Almasi or Peyton Knight at (202) 543-4110 or [email protected], or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html. New Visions Commentaries can be found at http://nationalcenter.org/P21NewVisions.html.
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