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Darfur/Africa Task Force
The Darfur/Africa Task Force works to increase public awareness of the genocide in Darfur through educational outreach, and to generate political pressure to stop the genocide; also plans to focus attention on understanding developments in other regions of Africa, and on the impact of U.S. foreign policy there.
Statement on Darfur
The government of Sudan is responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur, a region the size of Texas, on Sudan's western border with Chad. The Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militias it arms and supports have committed numerous attacks on the civilian populations of the African Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups, killing civilians, raping women, and burning villages. Estimates of those killed range from 200,000 to twice that number. More than two million people have been driven from their homes and are threatened by famine in what the UN has called the "world's worst humanitarian crisis."
The UN, the African Union, the US and the EU have all spoken out on this issue, however, the Sudanese government has failed to comply with the U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding Sudan to end massive violations of human rights and disarmament of the Janjaweed. Permanent members of the UN Security Council are not helping — China and Russia are buying oil and selling weapons to the Sudanese government; France is ignoring the issue while protecting its interests in the region; the U.S. and U.K. are making empty threats which only embolden Sudan's actions.
- We condemn the gross violations of human rights and crimes against humanity by the Sudanese government and its Janjaweed militias in Darfur.
- We call on the Sudanese government to disarm and disband the government-sponsored and supplied militia forces active in Darfur and withdraw those militias from the parts of Darfur they have occupied.
- We call on the United Nations to reinforce international observers and peacekeeping troops in Darfur. Security Council must urgently ask the African Union, under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, to increase the number of troops on the ground in Darfur and to expand its mandate to include protection of civilians.
- We call on the UN to establish an international human rights monitoring mission in Darfur and to collect evidence of the atrocities committed there.
- We call on the Security Council to impose sanctions on the top military and civilian leaders in the Sudanese government, including travel bans and asset freezes, and an arms embargo on Sudan as a whole, with enforcement mechanisms for all sanctions.
- We call on the Sudanese government to abide by its promise to give full access for humanitarian aid.
- We call on the US to denounce the abuses in Darfur, to support a UN resolution and sanctions against Sudan. We urge the US to demand accountability for human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in Sudan.
- We call on the US government to take steps to assure that military aid is suspended to all parties to the conflict, and to take all necessary action to prevent U.S. military aid to neighboring governments such as Chad from being used in the conflict in Sudan.
As the Tran Africa Forum stated, "Silence is unacceptable in the case of Darfur. The matter is not about picking sides in the face of civil war. It is demanding that the human rights of the people of Darfur are respected; that humanitarian assistance get to the people; and that serious efforts are undertaken to stop the fighting and bring about peaceful resolution of the conflict."
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