For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 18, 2007
Fact Sheet: Stop the Genocide in Darfur
President Bush Visits the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
In Focus: Africa
President Bush Announces Steps Encouraging All Parties To Live Up To Their Agreements
Today, President Bush Visited The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum To Discuss The Genocide That Is Happening In The Darfur Region Of Sudan And How We Are Working To Stop It. The brutal treatment of innocent civilians in Darfur is unacceptable to the President and to the United Nations, and it must stop. Ending the violence requires better security for the people of Darfur, and progress toward political reconciliation.
- The President Announced Steps The Administration Is Prepared To Take If Sudanese President Bashir Does Not Meet His Commitments In A Short Period Of Time. President Bashir must follow through on the deployment of the UN support forces he agreed to, allow the deployment of the full, joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force, and take every necessary step to facilitate its deployment. He must end support for the Janjaweed, reach out to rebel leaders, and allow humanitarian aid to reach the people of Darfur. He must stop his pattern of destruction once and for all. If he does not do so, the Administration is prepared to take the following steps:
- The Treasury Department will tighten U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan, allowing the U.S. to enforce more aggressively existing sanctions against the Sudanese government.
- The Administration will target sanctions against individuals responsible for the violence.
- The President will direct Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to prepare a new United Nations Security Council resolution.
- If Sudan's Obstruction Continues Despite These Measures, We Will Also Consider Other Options. The situation does not have to come to that:
- The President urges the United Nations Security Council, the African Union, and all members of the international community to stand behind the Addis Ababa Framework and reject efforts to obstruct its implementation.
- The President calls on President Bashir to provide his unconditional support for this agreement, and to take the concrete steps required to carry it out, so that the UN-African Union force can deploy and do its work.
America Will Not Back Down From The Evil We Are Now Seeing In Sudan
For 22 Years, Sudan Was Plagued By A Civil War Between The North And South That Claimed More Than 2 Million Lives. That war came to an end in January 2005, when Sudan's government and rebels in the south signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that the United States helped broker. Under this historic accord, Sudan has established a Government of National Unity that includes a First Vice President and other cabinet members from the country's south. It also established a Government of Southern Sudan that the United States is providing with aid and other assistance.
- Unfortunately, Just As Peace Was Coming To The South, Another Conflict Broke Out In The West – Where Rebel Groups In Darfur Attacked Government Outposts. To fight this rebellion, the government in Khartoum unleashed a horse-mounted militia called the Janjaweed, which carried out systematic assaults against innocent civilians.
The Genocide's Human Toll Has Been Staggering. More than 200,000 people have died from the conflict or from the malnutrition and disease that have spread in its wake. More than 2 million people have been forced from their homes and villages into camps both inside and outside their country.
The United States Is Helping Lead The Effort To Stop The Genocide In Darfur
Recent Agreements Represent A Clear Plan To End The Conflict – And If Implemented, They Would Allow The People Of Darfur To Return Home To Their Villages Safely And Begin To Rebuild Their Lives In Peace.
- Last May, The President Announced An Agreement For Darfur That We Helped Broker Between The Sudanese Government And The Largest Rebel Group. Under this agreement, Sudan's government promised to disarm the Janjaweed and punish all those who violate the cease-fire, and the main rebel group agreed to withdraw into specified areas.
- In August, The United Nations Followed Up This Agreement With A New Security Council Resolution. This resolution authorized the UN Mission in Sudan to extend its forces to Darfur – and to transform the existing African Union forces into a larger and better equipped UN peacekeeping mission.
- In November, The United Nations, The African Union, The European Union, The Arab League, The Government Of Sudan, The United States, And 12 Other Nations Reached Another Important Agreement At A Meeting In Addis Ababa. This agreement strengthened the terms of the ceasefire, re-energized the political process, and called for a joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force that would be nearly three times the size of the existing African Union force.
Unfortunately, These Agreements Have Been Routinely Violated. Sudan's government has moved arms to Darfur, conducted bombing raids on villages, and used military vehicles and aircraft that are painted white, which makes them look like those deployed by humanitarian agencies and peacekeeping forces.
- President Bashir's Record Has Been To Promise Cooperation While Finding New Ways To Subvert And Obstruct The UN's Efforts To Bring Peace To His Country. Just this week, Sudan’s government has reached an agreement with the United Nations to allow 3,000 UN troops and their equipment into the country to support the African Union force. The world has heard these promises from Sudan before.
The Time For Promises Is Over, And President Bashir Must Act
The President Announced Several New Steps The Administration Is Prepared To Take If The Government Of Sudan Does Not Meet Its Commitments:
- The Department Of The Treasury Will Tighten U.S. Economic Sanctions On Sudan. This new effort will allow the United States to enforce more aggressively existing sanctions against Sudan's government, by blocking any of its dollar transactions within the U.S. financial system. As part of this effort, the Treasury Department will add 29 companies owned or controlled by the government of Sudan to its list of Specially Designated Nationals. This designation will bar these companies from the U.S. financial system and make it a crime for American companies and individuals to willfully do business with them.
- The Administration Will Target Sanctions Against Individuals Responsible For The Violence. The sanctions will isolate designated individuals by cutting them off from the U.S. financial system, preventing them from doing business with any American citizen or company, and calling the world's attention to their crimes. We are also prepared to designate more individuals to face similar sanctions.
- The President Will Direct Secretary Of State Rice To Prepare A New United Nations Security Council Resolution. This resolution will apply new sanctions against the government of Sudan and against individuals found to be violating human rights or obstructing the peace process. It will impose an expanded embargo on arms sales to the government of Sudan, prohibit Sudan's government from conducting any offensive military flights over Darfur, and strengthen our ability to monitor and report on any violations.
- In The Next Days, We Will Begin Consulting With Other Security Council Members On The Terms Of Such A Resolution.
The United States Will Continue To Bring Relief To The People Of Darfur
The United States Will Continue Our Engagement In Support Of The People Of Darfur. The Administration is increasing support for the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority – an interim authority designed to help the people of Darfur improve local government and build the foundations of a healthy economy. We are also increasing support for Sudan's First Vice President and the United Nations and African Union special envoys, who are working to bring the rebel groups together and get them to sign onto the peace process.
- We Are Continuing Our Humanitarian Assistance To The People Of Darfur. Since 2005, the United States has provided more than $2 billion in humanitarian relief and development assistance to support those affected by the conflict in Darfur and those struggling to rebuild their lives in the hard-won peace of the south. These resources represent more than 50 percent of all UN-tracked assistance to Sudan. We will continue to bring relief to the people of Darfur – and we will continue to insist that rebel groups and the Sudanese government allow international workers to deliver this relief to the people who depend on it.
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