Save Darfur Coalition Praises President’s Signing of Darfur Bill
Coalition Also Applauds Executive Order Implementing Provisions to Help End Genocide, Urges Continued Leadership
WASHINGTON, DC – The Save Darfur Coalition today praised both President Bush’s signing of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act and his immediate steps to implement some of its strongest provisions by Executive Order. The Coalition, which comprises 178 faith-based, humanitarian, and civil society organizations, also called upon the President to make quick use of additional authorities contained within the bill, including increased aid to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur and stronger restrictions on the trade of Sudanese oil.
“By signing this important legislation into law, the President has once again demonstrated his commitment to protecting innocent lives by ending the genocide in Darfur,” said David Rubenstein, Coordinator of the Save Darfur Coalition. “We now look forward to President Bush and his administration using all of the tools that this bill makes available to them to help save lives in Darfur.”
The bill, which was passed by Congress on September 25 before being sent to the White House for signature, is the result of nearly two years of bipartisan effort. Amongst its provisions, it freezes the foreign financial assets of individuals found to be complicit in the genocide, and denies them the right to travel to the United States. Those individuals could include high-ranking Sudanese government officials.
“The tools available within this bill, several of which were immediately enacted by the President, will bring us closer to the only true measure of success in responding to this genocide: protecting the people of Darfur from further attack,” added Rubenstein. “Achieving that goal will take a sustained effort by the President, and by heads of state around the world. We look forward to his leadership in working with the world community to end the genocide in Darfur.”
Since February 2003, the worsening genocide sponsored by the Sudanese government and perpetrated by its Janjaweed militia allies has claimed at least 400,000 lives, displaced 2.5 million people and left nearly 4 million men, women and children completely dependent on international humanitarian aid.
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