Applauds Administration on Leadership to Help Secure On-Time and Credible Referendum for Southern Sudan

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(Washington, D.C.)  Mark Hanis, President of Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition released the following statement following President Obama’s mention of his efforts to secure an on-time and peaceful referendum for southern Sudan’s independence in tonight’s State of the Union address:

“On behalf of hundreds of thousands of activists who have repeatedly called on President Obama to make peace in Sudan a priority, we applaud the president and his administration for its aggressive diplomatic leadership in the run-up to southern Sudan’s historic vote for independence. Such leadership is needed now for Darfur, where increasing violence displaced more than 40,000 civilians in December.

“We urge President Obama and his administration to support the UNAMID peacekeeping mission whose operations are increasingly obstructed by the regime in Khartoum. We call on the U.S. Government to publicly reject the Government of Sudan’s current proposal move Darfur peace negotiations into Sudan.  Khartoum’s history of human rights abuses and its recent actions, including a raid last weekend of a camp for displaced Darfuri women, men and children, make Sudan an impossible venue for such a critical negotiation.”

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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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