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Congresswoman Waters supports the President's Announcement of Renewed Efforts to Confront Sudan

July 30, 2009
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) applauded the President's announcement of renewed efforts to confront Sudan and called on the President to use his bully pulpit to obtain the collaboration of the international community to take concrete action to stop the genocide in Darfur.  She made the following statement:

   I applaud the President's announcement of renewed efforts to confront the government of Sudan and stop its campaign of genocide against the people of Darfur.

   The past efforts of the United States to confront the government of Sudan have been less than stellar.  It has been almost three years since the White House declared that the government of Sudan was responsible for genocide in Darfur.  Unfortunately, since that declaration, our actions have not matched our rhetoric.

   The ongoing genocide in Darfur already is believed to have caused the deaths of almost half-a-million people.  More than 200,000 people have been killed by Sudanese government forces and armed militias since 2003, and another 200,000 people have died as a result of the deliberate destruction of homes, crops and water supplies and the resulting conditions of famine and disease.  Over one-third of the population of Darfur has been displaced, and the United Nations estimated that almost 250,000 people have been displaced in the past six months alone, due primarily to government-sponsored militia attacks.

   Today, the President announced new economic sanctions against the government of Sudan.  He also announced that the United States will seek passage of a United Nations Security Council Resolution applying new international sanctions against the government of Sudan, and the United States will continue to work for the deployment of a peacekeeping force by the United Nations and the African Union to protect the people of Darfur.

   The President's announcement is welcome.  However, this time, the United States must back up our words with actions so tough that the government of Sudan will not be able to defy our call to stop the genocide.

   The United States must take the lead in the community of nations and convince other countries to take action to stop the genocide.  President Bush must use his bully pulpit to obtain the collaboration of the international community.  We must convince every country that trades with Sudan to implement effective economic sanctions.   We must hold the government of Sudan accountable for killing civilians and other crimes against humanity.  Finally, we must insist on the immediate deployment of an effective peacekeeping force to protect the people of Darfur.

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