Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Suport Senate Call for Stopping Genocide in Darfur!

Dear Friends,

On September 9th, 2004, former Secretary of State Colin Powell responded to pressure from citizens and Congress and declared the situation in Darfur, Sudan to be genocide. Today, six months later, little progress has been made towards protecting civilians in Darfur and ending the genocide. To date, up to 400,000 lives have been lost and 2 million people displaced. We are asking you today to support the current effort by the U.S. Senate to stop the crisis and to encourage them to make stronger demands on the Administration.

Take Action Now: Please urge your senator to co-sponsor the Darfur Accountability Act.

The U.S. Senate recently introduced the Darfur Accountability Act (S.495), which calls on the Administration to engage in a “concerted, sustained campaign” with the United Nations Security Council to end the ongoing genocide. The Act calls on the U.S. to seek passage of a United Nations Resolution that would impose sanctions on the government of Sudan, establish a military no-fly zone in Darfur, and expand the size and strength of the African Union force in Darfur in order to stop the violence and protect the people in Darfur.

S. 495 supports the efforts to end genocide in Darfur by raising the profile of the issue and encouraging greater action by the Administration. However, the most appropriate way to support the African Union, which already has troops in Darfur, is for the U.S. to seek a Chapter 7 Mandate under the United Nations Charter for the force in Darfur and then for the UN to expand this force into a UN peacekeeping operation. Chapter 7 provides an intervention force with the ability to protect civilians and enforce the cease-fire. Africa Action believes that a Chapter 7 mandate is necessary to stop the genocide. As the Darfur Accountability Act falls short of this goal, we are asking you to write both in support of S. 495 and to suggest that the Senate amend the Act to include stronger language.

For more information on why a UN Chapter 7 intervention is necessary to stop genocide in Darfur, check out Africa Action’s Talking Points on Ending Genocide in Darfur.

Last July, Congress passed a resolution on Darfur that directly led to the Administration declaring genocide. As Congress has decided to increase pressure on the Administration; it is imperative that we make our voices heard.Let’s push Congress to urge the President to act now to stop genocide.

NOTE: If you live in any of these states: Indiana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Alaska, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Illinois, your input is very important as your Senator sits on the Foreign Relations Committee where this bill is currently being considered.

Take Action Now: Please urge your senator to co-sponsor the Darfur Accountability Act.

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