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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 29, 2004

President Directs Secretary Powell to Travel to Sudan
Statement by the Press Secretary

The President is deeply disturbed by the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Darfur region of Sudan. He has directed Secretary Powell to travel to Darfur to urge the Sudanese Government to heed the concerns of the international community and find a quick resolution to the crisis. Secretary Powell will be in Khartoum on June 29 and Darfur on June 30.

The United States has led the world in identifying and responding to this crisis. The President, the National Security Advisor, and the Secretary of State have all called for the Government of Sudan to end the crisis now. The United States had identified the nascent crisis by April 2003, and a senior official went to Darfur in October 2003 to alert the world. To save lives, we have delivered approximately $116 million in assistance and pledged a total of almost $300 million.

The United States played a pivotal role this year in negotiating the April 8 ceasefire and negotiating the entrance of African Union monitors. The Administration will continue to seek Security Council attention to this grave issue. It is time for the international community to coordinate its response and not allow a human catastrophe of this magnitude to unfold.

The United States calls upon the Sudanese Government to act urgently and decisively to neutralize and disarm the Jinjaweed and to reverse the crisis and create conditions that will allow the displaced to return home safely and with dignity.

The Bush Administration calls on all parties to the conflict in Darfur to adhere to the ceasefire, to respect the rights of civilians, to allow the free movement of humanitarian workers and relief supplies, and to work in good faith toward a negotiated settlement.

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