August 2004 Archives
A major human tragedy is unfolding in Sudan, one that has reportedly claimed at least 30,000 lives, and could claim hundreds of thousands more unless the world community works together, starting immediately, to end it.
But despite the growing catastrophe, the U.S. State Department has yet to publicly condemn these actions, or even to formally recognize that the atrocities in Sudan constitute genocide. Such recognition would make a huge difference, catalyzing the world community to help stop the bloodshed.
Please make a call to Secretary of State Colin Powell today at:
* Secretary of State Colin Powell
* 202-647-4000 or 202-647-6607
Urge him to:
* Immediately declare the atrocities in Sudan to be "Genocide"; and
* Publicly condemn them.
Please also call your Senators and Representative:
* Senator Mark Dayton
Washington, DC: 202-224-3244
* Senator Norm Coleman
Washington, DC: 202-224-5641
* Congressman Martin Olav Sabo
Washington, DC: 202-225-4755
Urge them to demand that the United States recognize the genocide and condemn it.
Sudan's government is orchestrating a genocide  against people living in the country's Darfur region, who have challenged the government's authoritarian rule. In addition to tens of thousands of killings, there is widespread rape, and poisoning of water systems. Up to one million people have reportedly been displaced from their homes.
More than 130 countries are obligated by the 1948 Genocide Convention to prevent and punish such crimes against humanity. So even if the United States sends no troops to Sudan, formally recognizing the genocide would enable the U.N. security council to authorize other countries, like Germany, France, and Spain, which don't have troops to Iraq, to help stop the killing in Sudan.
We could also take another simple step, and publicly condemn the genocide. This would send a powerful signal that the world is watching, not looking the other way. "Genocide is still calibrated to the international reaction," writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times.
Whenever genocide has occurred before, the world community has vowed, "never again." Yet today, it is happening again.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has written a moving series of columns from Sudan, many of them focusing on the personal experiences of a young woman there named Magboula. You can read them at:
Newspapers everywhere are calling for action:
* The Washington Post: "As Genocide Unfolds"
* The New York Times: Time for Action on Sudan (Archived and available for purchase)
* Calls for action from newspapers throughout the country have been compiled by the Center for American Progress
* Contradictory Declaration by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on the Armenian Question (PDF)
It's time to stop begging the dictatorship for access and start planning the rescue, implementing sanctions, and hold accountable the thugs who committed these crimes in courts of law. Congressional passage of this resolution is a crucial step in stopping the genocide in Sudan.
You can take action on this alert either via email (please see directions below) or via the web.
We encourage you to take action by August 20, 2004.
Tell Congress: Genocide by any other name is still GENOCIDE
INSTRUCTIONS TO RESPOND VIA THE WEB:
If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this alert.
INSTRUCTIONS TO RESPOND VIA EMAIL:
Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email program.
Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Representative Dennis Hastert
Representative Tom DeLay
Senator Bill Frist
Call for UN Emergency Force to quell genocides
Robert C. Johansen's call for a United Nations Emergency Service is quite close to one of the four goals of the International Campaign to End Genocide since 1999, which is:
"The establishment of a powerful United Nations rapid response force in accordance with Articles 43 - 47 of the U.N. charter, as well as regional rapid response forces, and international police ready to be sent to areas where genocide threatens or has begun."
The European Union's creation of a rapid response force and its first deployments, including one to the Eastern Congo, have been positive steps toward this goal, as has the African Union's declaration of its intent to create an AU rapid response force. SHIRBRIG, the Standing High Readiness Brigade, pioneered by Canada, Denmark, and other countries has also been a step in this direction.
A full-scale UN volunteer rapid deployment force is vigorously opposed by the Bush administration, and the Congressional appropriation for the State Department and International Organizations specifically forbids any use of U.S. funds for such a force. Interestingly, General Dallaire, an adviser to the Genocide Watch, Aegis, and the ICEG and one of the most respected experts on this subject, also thinks it would currently be a mistake to give the U.N. such a standing armed force, perhaps because of his experience with U.N. irresolution in Rwanda. The proposal will undoubtedly be opposed by nations like China and many of the G-77-states that hold national sovereignty above all other values, and believe it includes what Leo Kuper called "the sovereign right to commit genocide." Nevertheless, the proposal seems well worth pursuing as a long-range goal. It would be even more useful in the context of a U.N. Security Council Perm-5 agreement not to use the veto when there has been a finding of immanent or actual genocide by a majority of the members of the Security Council, as the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty recommends.
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton
Our U.S. promise to act against genocide could become futile
A Congressional bill calling for targeted sanctions (including economic sanctions) against the worst criminal in Sudan, as well as $200 million for further humanitarian aid for Darfur and the refugees
in neighboring Chad, has lost the support of Congress and the President and is in danger of not becoming law.
Act now and let key leadership in both the House and Senate know that the people of the United States will not allow this legislation to die:
* Senate Leadership: Senators Frist, Daschle, and Reid
* House Leadership: Representatives DeLay and Hastert
* Key Members of the House and Senate Foreign/International Relations Committees: Senators Lugar and Brownback, Representatives Hyde, Payne and Lantos
* Chairmen of key Subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee: Representatives Kolbe and Wolf
* U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
During November the situation in Darfur, Sudan has become more volatile and insecure with Government forces encircling camps set up for those internally displaced by the conflict and denying access to UN aid agencies and other humanitarian groups.
The Sudanese government appears determined to force those displaced by the conflict back to villages that remain uninhabitable. Meanwhile, the U.S. Government, instead of condemning such action, is backing down from pressuring Sudan to stop the killing and reign in its militias.
Before the Presidential elections, the U.S. administration and Congress spoke strongly against the atrocities being committed in Darfur, Sudan. The United States was the only country to declare the situation genocide. Post-elections, the policy has changed.
The United States can and must ensure that the world does not once again turn away in the face of genocide.
A little more than ten years ago, American officials argued that what was then happening in Rwanda was not worthy of their time or attention. Their actions not only were grossly irresponsible, but also represented one of the most shameful episodes in the history of American foreign policy.
There is no need for history to repeat itself. We can ensure that future generations of Americans will not be ashamed of America's response to Darfur.
Act now and let key leadership in both the House and Senate know that the people of the United States will not allow this legislation to die.
Support this legislation today, calling for action to end the crisis in Darfur.