LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS CONDEMN RECENT ATTACKS AND HUMANITARIAN AID RESTRICTIONS IN DARFUR

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Sudan Now, a group of human rights and anti-genocide organizations, today called on the Obama Administration to condemn the Government of Sudan for conducting air strikes against civilians in Darfur and preventing humanitarian assistance from accessing the affected sites. The administration should demand that access for humanitarian groups and peacekeepers be restored immediately, the Sudan coalition said.

The air attacks were the second in three days conducted by the Government of Sudan and were followed by the denial of access for humanitarian groups and peacekeepers for nearly all of South Darfur, including two of the largest displacement camps in the world.

“The U.S. government has offered a roadmap to normalization of relations with Khartoum, with the hope that these incentives could lead to a peaceful transition to independence of South Sudan as well as progress toward peace in Darfur. The latest egregious acts of bombing civilians and denying UN access should give immediate pause to offers of normalization. President Obama should make it clear to the Sudanese government that while the United States is willing to offer a way forward, there are certain acts that are unacceptable under any circumstances.” stated Mark Hanis, President and Co-Founder of Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition.

“Restrictions on humanitarian access are immoral and totally unacceptable,” said Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service. “The path towards peace is undermined when violence continues to be perpetrated and vital supplies and service are not permitted to reach those who rely on them for survival. I expect the United States Government and the international community to stand firm and send a strong message that these behaviors must end.”

“Although we repeatedly hear about how the Sudanese government is increasing access for peacekeepers and humanitarians in Darfur, invariably they revert to bombing civilians and cutting off access to aid,” said Enough Executive Director John Bradshaw. “Unless the international community imposes a clear cost for this egregious behavior, it will keep recurring.”

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Sudan Now is a campaign led by a group of anti-genocide and human rights advocacy organizations committed to bringing meaningful and lasting peace to Sudan and encouraging strong American leadership and action to achieve this goal. The campaign challenges President Obama and top U.S. administration officials 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, American Jewish World Service, Stop Genocide Now, and Investors Against Genocide.

Contact:
Ann Brown, GI-NET/SDC, abrown@annbrowncommunications.com, 301-633-4193
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project jhutson@enoughproject.org, 202-386-1618

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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