Faith-Based and Human Rights Coalition calls on President Bush to raise Darfur issues with Chinese President Hu Jintao
Coalition also calls for China to end obstructionism within UN Security Council
Washington, DC – The Save Darfur Coalition, in cooperation with over 160 faith-based, advocacy, and humanitarian aid organizations, today called upon President Bush to make the genocide in Darfur a main item on his agenda with Chinese President Hu Jintao when the two meet at the White House on Thursday. China has protected the Khartoum regime within the United Nations Security Council in the past, including just yesterday, when they joined with Russia to block the consideration of sanctions against four individuals accused of complicity in the genocide (http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/world.aspx?ID=BD4A187154)
“President Bush has told us time and again that he believes that a UN peacekeeping force is necessary to protect civilians in Darfur,” said Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, MD, Chair of the Save Darfur Coalition’s Million Voices for Darfur Campaign (www.savedarfur.org) “Thursday’s meeting with President Hu will be a perfect opportunity for him to act on that belief by calling on the Chinese President to end China’s obstructionism within the UN Security Council.” A longtime advocate for human rights, Hammond has made seven trips into war-torn southern Sudan where she has been involved in obtaining the freedom of 10,000 women and children who were enslaved during the two-decade long civil war.
Estimates suggest that over 300,000 people have died in the Darfur conflict since 2003, with 3.5 million driven into hunger and another 2.0 million displaced due to violence. Recent months have seen a dramatic rise in violence, a drop in humanitarian aid due to security concerns, and a resulting increase in regional instability which now threatens to boil over into an international conflict.
“If China is to be a true world leader, it cannot continue to shield those accused of crimes against humanity from investigation and possible sanctions at the UN,” said Hammond.
China could have another chance to act on Darfur soon, following the presentation to the Security Council of planning options for a possible UN peacekeeping force in Darfur on April 24.
President Hu’s visit to the White House comes just ten days before the April 30th “Save Darfur: Rally to Stop Genocide” (www.savedarfur.org/rally) The rally will feature prominent religious and political leaders, entertainers, and survivors of 20th century genocides standing alongside thousands of Americans united in their belief that the U.S. and international community must act quickly to end the violence and build a lasting peace in Darfur.
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