Washington, D.C. – The newly merged Save Darfur Coalition / Genocide Intervention Network (SDC/GI-NET) expressed deep concerns for civilians in Darfur following news that the Government of Sudan has shut down the Khartoum office of Radio Dabanga and arrested staff and activists there, following  the arrest of nine Darfuri human rights activists this past weekend.  The group has also received reports from Darfur that the Government of Sudan and allied militia groups are amassing troops.  SDC/GI-NET President Mark Hanis today made the following statement:

“The crack down on free communication, arrests of Darfuri activists and civil society leaders, and new reports coming out of Darfur that Khartoum and allied militia groups are building up troop levels, are disturbing reminders that Darfurians are tremendously vulnerable to human rights violations and attack.. At a time when the international community is focusing on North-South issues in advance of the January referenda on Southern Sudanese independence and the future of contested oil district Abyei, Darfur must not fall off the agenda of policymakers around the world. We must avoid a repeat of history when the world focused on negotiating the much needed Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2004 but failed to stop the genocide being perpetrated in Darfur at the same time.

“The U.S. Government and the United Nations must make clear to the Government of Sudan – and intransigent rebel groups – that violence against civilians, peacekeepers and aid workers in Darfur will not be tolerated.  A high-level diplomat dedicated exclusively to Darfur issues should be appointed to lead the Administration’s efforts to support UNAMID, ensure humanitarian access and help negotiate an enduring peace agreement.”

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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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