Time to Lead in Sudan

A moral and humanitarian crisis of the first order is rapidly unfolding in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. Arab death squads have forced hundreds of thousands of African villagers into refugee camps. Over a million Sudanese have been displaced and between ten and 30,000 have been killed. At a time when the Bush administration justifies intervention in Iraq on humanitarian grounds, immediate steps to stop the unfolding genocide in Sudan would prove that it takes these principles seriously and is not just using them as convenient rationales for war.

  • The crimes against humanity being perpetrated in Sudan constitute a moral crisis that requires immediate intervention. Condemning these actions alone will not stop the killing and unnecessary deaths in Sudan. It is simply immoral for the world community to allow genocide in Sudan to develop before its eyes without taking strong action.
  • The United States must take the lead in stopping the killing and bringing humanitarian relief to the region. Acting through the U.N. Security Council, Washington must pressure the government of Sudan to halt the killing; disarm the militia; allow unimpeded access for humanitarian workers and supplies; and undertake political negotiations aimed at ending the crisis. The United States should pressure the Security Council to grant member states the authority to intervene militarily and press European and capable African countries to lead this humanitarian intervention with our support.
  • The Bush administration must hold Khartoum accountable. Sudanese President Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir ordered the Arab militias to disarm this weekend. The Bush administration must hold Khartoum to its word on disbanding the militias and demand full accountability for the Sudanese government’s complicity in ethnic cleansing.

Click here to read more about steps to address the crisis in Sudan by Gayle Smith of the Center for American Progress and Susan Rice of the Brookings Institution.

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