For Immediate Release: April 20, 2010
Jonathan Hutson, the Enough Project, 857-919-5130, email@example.com
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, 202-460-6756, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Morgan, Investors Against Genocide, 617-797-0451, email@example.com
Suzanne Offen, American Jewish World Service, 240- 620- 5207, firstname.lastname@example.org
IN WAKE OF RIGGED ELECTION, RIGHTS GROUPS CALL ON WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE FIRM STANCE TO ENSURE PEACE AND JUSTICE IN SUDAN
U.S. Should Increase Pressure on Recalcitrant Actors To Reduce Risk of Full-Scale War, as Per Sudan Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the White House issued a statement that Sudan’s recent elections fell short of international standards and that political rights and freedoms were violated, leading human rights groups are calling on the Obama Administration to implement a policy of pressure and consequences to reduce the risk of full-scale war and prevent further manipulation by spoilers in Khartoum during the run-up to the January 2011 referendum on independence for Southern Sudan.
Mark Lotwis, Acting President, Save Darfur Coalition: “The Obama administration’s strategy for Sudan promised to hold Sudan’s regime accountable for its actions on the ground. Yet today’s statement neglects to assign responsibility and consequences for the failure of dictator Omar al-Bashir to create the conditions for a free and fair election. President Obama must lead world leaders to not recognize Bashir as a legitimately elected leader and to press for meaningful steps towards political freedom in Sudan in the run up to next year’s referendum to determine independence for South Sudan.”
John Prendergast, Enough: “Each time the Obama administration does not stand on principle and build international consequences for further abuses of human and civil rights, a powerful signal is sent to the Sudanese parties that fulfillment of commitments and agreements is not important. Unless President Obama implements his own stated policy of imposing consequences for unmet benchmarks, the potential increases for obstructions around the referendum and Darfur peace negotiations and thus a return to full-scale national war. The stakes continue to get higher in Sudan, and the administration’s bar for moving forward continues to get lower.”
Ruth Messenger, President, American Jewish World Service: “The elections are over and fundamentally little has changed. Darfur remains without a viable peace process, a host of issues remain unresolved ahead of the referendum in January and the NCP government once again confirmed its refusal to allow a true democratic transformation in Sudan. The administration must demonstrate that peace in Sudan is a priority worthy of the continued personal attention of the President, Vice President and Secretary of State.”
Gabriel Stauring, Director, Stop Genocide Now: “Marginalized people in Sudan are being left behind and unprotected, in this rush to meet a time-line. U.S. Sudan policy is, in effect, promoting abuses and impunity, when it does not go beyond statements of regret and move towards true consequences and pressures. As we have seen with recent attacks in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur where hundreds died and thousands were displaced, real lives are at stake, and regrets do not do the job.
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.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, visit www.enoughproject.org.
Stop Genocide Now is a grassroots community dedicated to working to protect populations in grave danger of violence, death and displacement resulting from genocide. Through active education, advocacy and policy change SGN resolves to change the way the world responds to genocide. SGN is currently focused on creating awareness and action to stop the genocide in Darfur and deal appropriately with its aftermath. All of our projects focus on and utilize the strength and power in grassroots connectivity. For more information, please visit www.stopgenocidenow.org.
American Jewish World Service is an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community. www.ajws.org