(Washington, DC) –  In response to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s visit to Sudan, Sam Bell, Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network/ Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET/SDC) released the following statement, reiterating the organization’s opposition to relaxing economic sanctions and debt relief before the Government of Sudan has embraced its responsibility to protect civilians, particularly in Darfur:

“The United States must not rush to reward the Government of Sudan; actively working to relieve Khartoum’s debts would be a serious mistake.

“Secretary of State Clinton stated in November that economic incentives such as removal of sanctions, debt relief and increased trade and investment to Sudan would be contingent on the government’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Darfur.  And while the Government of Sudan is anxious to seek U.S. favor for allowing the referendum process to proceed, violence against civilians has dramatically increased since that time.  Intensified attacks in Darfur displaced an estimated 100,000 civilians since the beginning of December.  There have also been allegations that the Government of Sudan supported violence in Abyei and South Sudan.”

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged on November 1, 2010 to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma.  The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.

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