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We have seen the devastation that genocide and mass atrocities have on the lives of innocent civilians. Further, we recognize that preventing and responding to mass atrocities advances the national interests of the United States. We have seen the impact that conflicts have in destabilizing entire regions and providing safe havens for terrorist groups to flourish. Further, in this time of economic difficulty, preventing atrocities is a sound financial investment that will save the U.S. millions if not billions of dollars spent in responding to future crises that threaten strategic interests. Sudan and Darfur This is a critical moment for Sudan. The weeks and months ahead will determine the prospects for lasting peace in the country. Even as we celebrate the success of the recent referendum on southern Sudan s independence during which the South voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession we remain focused on critical agreements that must be reached before a successful divorce between North and South Sudan is possible. As the attention of the international community has been focused on the referendum, the situation in Darfur has deteriorated. Since the beginning of December, at least 100,000 have been displaced from their homes. Attacks by the Government of Sudan and its affiliated militias have continued throughout the region, threatening civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian workers. Despite chronic lack of progress on a peace agreement, there appears to be an upcoming opportunity to reinvigorate the peace talks being held in Doha. Meanwhile, the Government of Sudan continues to pursue its disastrous Darfur strategy by pushing forward a referendum for the region that will only serve to undermine the will of the Darfuri people and prospects for peace. Libya The action taken by the international community to protect civilians in Libya has been remarkable. As a result of the timely and effective steps led by the United States in coordination with allies a likely massacre has been averted. The action not only marks progress toward carrying out the international community s responsibility to protect, but serves broader strategy interests. It sends a signal to other regimes seeking to suppress pro-democracy voices that the commission of atrocities will not be tolerated. Further, the action will help to secure regional stability during this time of upheaval.
What the House of Representatives Can Do
Support Funding for Sudan: We are concerned over drastic funding cuts to the international affairs budget in H.R. 1, particularly cuts to humanitarian aid. Specifically, we are concerned about accounts related to International Disaster Assistance, Food for Peace, and Migration and Refugee Assistance. These accounts directly impact lives on the ground in Sudan. The proposed reductions by the House run counter to the United States commitment to peace in Sudan and put lives at risk. We urge you to support restoration of funding to humanitarian aid accounts. Support Funding for Genocide Prevention: We are very concerned about the lack of support for critical funding necessary to prevent genocide and mass atrocities. The Complex Crises Fund which has enabled the United States to more effectively respond to situations at risk for mass atrocities was completely eliminated in H.R.1. Additionally, the Civilian Stabilization Initiative that runs programs to mitigate conflict has been almost entirely gutted. The Civilian Stabilization Initiative funds critical work to prevent violent conflict in areas critical to the interests of the United States like Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We urge you to support restoration of funding to these accounts that support America s strategic interests. Join the Sudan Caucus and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission: Both the Sudan Caucus and Human Rights Commission offer key opportunities for members of the House of Representatives to stay up-to-date on the issues facing Sudan. Please consider joining and actively participating in these groups.
1025 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 310 I Washington, D.C. 20036 I 202-556-2100 www.savedarfur.org I www.genocideintervention.net
Sudan Now Welcomes Princeton Lyman as New Sudan Envoy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2011
RIGHTS GROUPS WELCOME PRINCETON LYMAN AS NEW U.S. ENVOY TO SUDAN
(Washington, D.C.) Sudan Now, a group of human rights and anti-genocide organizations, welcomed today s announcement by the White House that U.S. Ambassador Princeton Lyman will be the new U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan. Ambassador Lyman recently led the U.S negotiation team dispatched to help implement Sudan s North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). "The US has named an envoy who combines deep knowledge of Sudan with extraordinary experience in peace-making. This is exactly the right combination of qualities needed for the hard road ahead in helping to secure the peaceful birth of the new nation of Southern Sudan, an effective peace deal in Darfur, better access for aid and human rights monitors, and the rights of all Sudanese in the two states that emerge in July, said Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast. We welcome Ambassador Lyman and appreciate the experience and knowledge he will bring to this important role, stated Sam Bell, Executive Director of Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition. Unrest in South Sudan, escalating violence in Darfur and a threatened Darfur peace process underscore the serious challenges that face Ambassador Lyman. We urge him not to rush to reward the Khartoum regime while it continues to target civilians in Darfur, has yet to resolve several outstanding post referendum and CPA issues, and is reportedly contributing to violence in South Sudan. According to the members of Sudan Now, Mr. Lyman should pressure the NCP and SPLM to prioritize human rights, promote democracy and good governance, and resolve the remaining post-referendum issues, and support the Doha peace process by urging and working with all parties to take concrete steps to create and implement a comprehensive peace agreement that addresses the fundamental grievances of the Darfuri people. "Ambassador Lyman is a skilled, experienced, and respected diplomat," said Mike Boyer, a spokesman for Humanity United. "Particularly with the peace process in Darfur at a critical and delicate stage, and with the need to be ever-diligent of the massive challenges that persist throughout North and South Sudan, President Obama has chosen in Ambassador Lyman someone who is positioned to provide the right kind of leadership at this seminal moment in the country's history." Princeton Lyman is a serious diplomat who we believe has the right skills to help bring all sides towards peace, said AJWS president Ruth Messinger. He has an enormous task particularly with negotiations occurring immediately that will shape the future of relations between Sudan and Southern Sudan and create a renewed effort to secure a peaceful settlement in Darfur. We expect that he will not accept the status quo of millions living in camps and will provide a renewed sense of accountability which has too often been lacking in the past. ### Sudan Now is a campaign led by a group of anti-genocide and human rights advocacy organizations committed to bringingmeaningful and lasting peace to Sudan and encouraging strong American leadership and action to achieve this goal. The campaign challenges President Obama, top U.S. administration officials, and the international community to live up to their promises to take strong and immediate action to help end the international crisis in Sudan and bring a lasting peace to Sudan s people. Organizations participating in the campaign include Humanity United, the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition, Stop Genocide Now, Investors Against Genocide, and American Jewish World Service. For more information, please visit www.sudanactionnow.org
Leading Human Rights Organizations Highlight Stalled Peace Process & Needed Steps for Real Reform
For Immediate Release: February 15, 2011
LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS HIGHLIGHT STALLED PEACE PROCESS IN DARFUR & NEEDED STEPS FOR REAL REFORM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Just one week after the announcement that South Sudan will soon become the world s newest nation following a largely peaceful referendum process, Sudan Now today released a report assessing the stalled progress for peace in Darfur and the need for a series of interventions to get the process back on track. A Roadmap for Peace in Darfur asserts that Darfur must become a focus for international attention and policy change equal to that of the North-South postreferendum diplomacy. Violence in Darfur has surged in recent weeks and those involved in the peace process have expressed frustration over the Government of Sudan s interest in keeping negotiations internal and directed by the government. Sudan Now s report outlines three key components to improve the peace process: 1. Negotiations need be held outside the borders of Sudan High-level political negotiations should take place outside of Sudan between the various parties to the conflict, including the government of Sudan, the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Army Abdel Wahid, and the Sudan Liberation Army Minni Minawi and the Liberty and Justice Movement. Holding the negotiations in-country threatens neutrality, assures public distrust of the process, and presents significant programs with logistics and access for key participants. 2. The voices of the Darfurian people need to be heard and considered Civil society engagement inside Darfur is essential, with numerous stipulations and a mechanism to make sure their voices and those outside of Sudan are part of the peace process, in addition to moderation by the international community. 3. The international community should push for a democratic transition of North and South Sudan High-level coordinated diplomatic engagement is needed in order to push for democratic transition in North Sudan that promotes human and civil rights in the region. It is essential that the international community work to ensure that the secession of southern Sudan does not lead to a further decline of rights and political space in the North, but rather offers an opportunity for increased transparency and pluralism. Most important, the report asserts that the Obama administration needs to maintain a focus on the people of Darfur and push the Government of Sudan to restore humanitarian access and give UNAMID the support it needs to fulfill its mission of providing protection and security to the people of Darfur. A Roadmap for Peace in Darfur is part of the effort being led by Sudan Now, a coalition of prominent human rights and antigenocide groups, to call on American leadership to take a stand for promoting peace in Sudan at this critical moment in the country s history. To read the entire paper, please visit: http://www.sudanactionnow.org/documents/darfur_roadmap.pdf
ENOUGH PROJECT, GI-NET/SDC COMMEND PRESIDENT OBAMA S SWIFT ACTION TO PROTECT CIVILIANS IN LIBYA
(Washington, DC) Human rights advocacy organizations expressed support today for the Obama administration s swift action to protect civilians in Libya and reinforce the International Responsibility to Protect doctrine. The United States lent military support to establish a United Nations-approved no-fly zone as Libyan armed forces approached the city of Benghazi. Many feared widespread civilian fatalities if the forces reached the city of 700,000. The Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET/SDC) and the Enough Project offered the following statements: John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project: "As the clock on Libya s fate ticked inexorably towards midnight, the international community answered the alarm with a degree of clarity and unanimity never before seen so quickly in response to a threat posed to civilian populations. Confusion and inaction in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and a host of other lesser-known failures of international will have laid the groundwork, finally, for a spine-stiffening catalytic moment in Libya." John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project: "Some critics second-guess President Obama's decision to intervene to safeguard civilians facing war crimes in Libya. But the international community's decision to act collectively has so far achieved its purpose of preventing Qaddafi from unleashing carnage on his own people in Benghazi." Mark Hanis, President of Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition: On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of citizen activists and supporters who want the United States to take effective, responsible and prompt action to protect civilian lives and prevent mass atrocities, we commend President Obama for recent U.S. actions in Libya. By supporting the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and coordinating its operations with regional security organizations, the Obama administration strengthened the legitimacy of multilateral institutions and set the table for the successful invocation of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. While offensive military operations are not always the right tool to prevent mass atrocities and should be undertaken with great consideration and as a last resort, in this case a show of international military force undoubtedly saved countless civilian lives. Background: On March 19, a United Nations-authorized coalition, led by France and the United Kingdom, began military operations designed to protect residents of Libyan cities, including Benghazi. These operations, which include the creation of a no-fly zone, represent an invocation of the international community s Responsibility to Protect. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 passed on March 17 and authorized United Nations member states, operating in concert with the Arab League, to take all necessary steps to protect civilians in Libya. Through this language, the United Nations called on the international community to invoke its Responsibility to Protect in order to defend civilians from Libyan armed forces. The United Nations approved the Responsibility to Protect doctrine in 2005, declaring that The international community has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means to help protect populations threatened by these crimes. When a state manifestly fails in its protection responsibilities, and peaceful means are inadequate, the international community must take stronger measures, including collective use of force authorized by the Security Council under Chapter VII.
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