News Release

Sudan: Rwanda Redux?

JAMES JENNINGS
President of Conscience International, a humanitarian relief organization, Jennings has traveled to Sudan on humanitarian missions in the past and is currently organizing another one to be undertaken this year. He said today: “The crisis in Sudan is so massive and complicated that many deaths will likely occur before an adequate mechanism for humanitarian intervention can be found. There is plenty of blame to go around — one might say that the world community has once again declared the patient inoperable after carelessly watching the tumor grow for years. Even so, we need to act, even though it is late. Sudan is the largest country in Africa, and one of the poorest. A policy of sanctions followed by war, as in Iraq, can only make matters worse. What is needed is massive political engagement to exert the maximum amount of pressure on the Khartoum government, while simultaneously mobilizing the greatest possible emergency assistance for displaced people.”
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SALIH BOOKER
Executive director of Africa Action, Booker said today: “The failure of the United States and the international community to act in Rwanda a decade ago cost 800,000 lives. Now, up to 1 million people face a similar fate in Darfur, western Sudan, as a result of an ongoing government campaign to destroy a portion of its population. What is happening in Darfur is genocide, and must be called that. The term ‘genocide’ not only captures the fundamental characteristics of the Khartoum government’s intent and actions; it also invokes clear international obligations. … The United States has 1,800 troops in nearby Djibouti, some of whom could be mobilized quickly to lead a multinational force to secure the region, to facilitate humanitarian assistance and to enforce the cease-fire until a UN peacekeeping force can be assembled. … This tragedy once again highlights the need for a positive international framework for dealing with crimes against humanity, such as genocide, and for responding to urgent humanitarian crisis — with regional and global standing peacekeeping forces that are ready to be immediately deployed under multilateral command.”
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JOHN QUIGLEY
Quigley is professor of law at Ohio State University and author of the books “Genocide in Cambodia” and “The Ruses for War: American Interventionism Since World War II.” He said today: “Unfortunately, the United Nations has been diverted by trying to deal with problems that the United States has created and seems unable to deal with the kinds of problems like this one it is supposed to be addressing. The General Assembly can and should convene to search for ways to add to pressure on the Khartoum government. … One of the main arguments against humanitarian military interventions has been that powerful states will end up using that tool as a pretext, which unfortunately is exactly what the United States has a long history of doing.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167