(Washington, D.C.)– The Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET/SDC) today called on the United States to oppose debt relief for Sudan until it has made fundamental changes to ensure civilian protection throughout Sudan. Sudanese officials are in Washington this week to lobby for debt relief, and will attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meeting this weekend. The IMF released a report on Monday recommending that Sudan initiate a dialogue with creditors to establish wide support for the process of forgiving its $37 billion debt.

Mark Hanis, President of GI-NET/SDC, issued the following statement:

“A portion of Sudan’s debt was acquired to finance wars in Darfur and the South, and debt forgivenessis one of the most significant bargaining chips the international community has to pressure the government to make fundamental changes. While the Sudanese government owes a relatively small debt to the United States, our support is critical when it comes to securing relief from multi-lateral institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

“We should not rush to reward Khartoum, and should not offer debt relief until the Sudanese government implements a Darfur peace agreement, ends violence against civilians, implements the remainder of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and resolves several remaining post-referendum issues.”

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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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