Thursday, September 22, 2011
Human Rights Leader Faults Obama Administration for Failure In Sudan – Could Cost Thousands Of Lives
Rejects Current “Normalization” Approach for Tough Sanctions against Indicted War Criminal
(Washington, DC) – United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews today urged policymakers to mandate increased U.S. sanctions and other actions to help halt escalating ethnic-based attacks on civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile by forces backed by Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. Andrews testified at a House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing, “Sudan: The Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in South Kordofan and Continuing Human Rights Violations in Darfur.”
“Omar al-Bashir is repeating the targeted ethnic attacks of Darfur in South Kordofan and Blue Nile where his forces have already killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands displaced with little food and no access to humanitarian aid,” stated Andrews. “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration, by failing to demand accountability and leaving the option open for normalized relations with Sudan, is allowing Omar al-Bashir to get away with murder.”
In his testimony, Andrews called on the Obama Administration to:
• Expand current sanctions on Bashir and other individuals responsible for atrocities throughout Sudan, as current sanctions are specific to Darfur alone;
• Make saving live in Sudan a high priority in dealings with China and other nations that can exert leverage on Bashir and his regime; and
• Expend political capital necessary to pass a United Nations Security Council resolution that would expand individual sanctions for perpetrators, expand the existing arms embargo on Darfur to incorporate all of Sudan, expand the mandate of the International Criminal Court to cover the entire country, and authorize an international civilian protection force with the mandate and capacity to accomplish its mission.
Andrews thanked the Lantos Human Rights Commission for helping to raise the alarm about ongoing atrocities in Sudan. “The American people need to know the truth about Omar al-Bashir and the atrocities he continues to commit, and this hearing is an important step,” stated Andrews. “I urge your leadership in considering legislation that would mandate increased U.S. sanctions and other actions to hold Omar al-Bashir accountable for his heinous actions and protect the millions of men, women and children in South Kordofan and Blue Nile whose lives are at risk right now.”
The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $2 trillion in assets under management.
Ann Brown, email@example.com, 301-633-4193