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Save Darfur Press Release 5-21-10 (Letter to Special Envoy Gration and Ambassador Rice)

Save Darfur Press Release 5-21-10 (Letter to Special Envoy Gration and Ambassador Rice)

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Save Darfur Coalition Condemns Sudanese Government’s Crackdowns and Military Offensives

Calls on General Gration and Ambassador Rice to Send Clear Message to Khartoum
Save Darfur Coalition Condemns Sudanese Government’s Crackdowns and Military Offensives

Calls on General Gration and Ambassador Rice to Send Clear Message to Khartoum

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Published by: United to End Genocide on May 21, 2010
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05/21/2010

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PRESS RELEASE May 21, 2010 CONTACT: Andrea Clarke Senior Communications Director 202.460.6756 andrea@savedarfur.

org

Save Darfur Coalition Condemns Sudanese Government’s Crackdowns and Military Offensives
Calls on General Gration and Ambassador Rice to Send Clear Message to Khartoum
The Save Darfur Coalition has submitted a letter to the U.S. Special Envoy Major General Scott Gration and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice requesting that they send a clear message to the government of Sudan in response to its recent crackdown on opposition leaders and newspapers, along with a new military offensive in Darfur. These events appear to represent a dangerous post-election course chosen by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party. The United States should not view a government that arbitrarily arrests opposition leaders, shutdowns newspapers, intimidates human rights activists, and continues aerial bombings in Darfur as a committed party to peace and stability in Sudan and in the region. Instead, it is urgently necessary for the United States government to condemn these actions and, even more importantly, convey to the Sudanese government that this behavior will negatively affect its relationship with the United States and standing in the international community. If this clear and direct message is not sent, Bashir and his National Congress Party will draw the wrong lessons from the recent elections in Sudan. Rather than fear consequences for policies that stifle political space and violate the political rights of opponents, the regime will act – as the incidents of the last week show – with new unbridled authority. This emboldened and destructive mentality, if not checked, will endanger even more innocent lives in Sudan. First and foremost, the people of Darfur and the regime’s critics in Khartoum will bear the brunt of this new wave of repression and violence. This political trajectory also precariously puts in doubt Bashir and the NCP’s willingness to implement the final stages of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including the holding of a free and fair referendum for South Sudan in January 2011. “Ultimate responsibility though rests in Khartoum. In General Gration’s testimony last week, he stated that Bashir and the National Congress Party desperately desire to be welcomed back into the respected community of nations. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that the Sudanese government believes that fraudulent elections and incessant – but unfulfilled – promises of reform and peace are the path to normalizing relations with the United States and international community. Now is the time to set the record straight with the regime and for the people of Sudan. To that end, we urge you to issue a forceful statement that these actions are completely unacceptable and that, if they continue, Bashir and the hardliners in his party will face new consequences and only isolate themselves further,” said Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition. The complete letter to General Gration and Ambassador Rice can be viewed at: http://www.savedarfur.org/page/-/PDFs/Save_Darfur_Letter_05-21-10.pdf ###
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org

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