Coalition Calls for Immediate Authorization and Deployment of 
Strong UN Peacekeeping Force for Darfur


Washington, D.C. –  
The Save Darfur Coalition today applauded the efforts of a coalition of United Nations Security Council members working to provide protection for the innocent victims in Darfur, Sudan. The United Kingdom introduced a Security Council resolution last night, drafted with the support of the United States, that would authorize a Chapter VII-mandated peacekeeping force of up to 22,600 troops and other personnel in Sudan.

“We are pleased to see our world leaders introduce a resolution calling for a strong peacekeeping force in Darfur, but this needs to be more than words on paper,” said Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary for International Affairs and Peace at the National Council of Churches, as well as a Save Darfur Coalition executive committee member. “We expect the United States to demonstrate strong leadership and its abhorrence of genocide by making passage of this resolution a top administration priority.”

The Save Darfur Coalition comprises over 170 faith-based, human rights and humanitarian organizations working together to provide protection to the people of Darfur. On September 17, the Coalition will sponsor a rally in New York City’s Central Park (www.savedarfur.org) that coincides with a meeting of the 61st United Nations General Assembly in New York.  Thousands of individuals across the world will likewise call for UN peacekeepers in Darfur on Sept. 17 as part of the Global Day for Darfur (www.dayfordarfur.org).

The Security Council resolution was introduced amid threats of a large-scale mobilization of the Sudanese army into Darfur, a course of action which would clearly violate the Darfur Peace Agreement and act to further deteriorate the fragile security and humanitarian aid situation in the region.  More aid workers were killed in July than in the previous two and half years combined since the conflict began. Earlier this week, the World Food Program announced that nearly half-a-million Darfurians could not receive necessary food aid because of the deteriorating security situation.

“The current security concerns necessitate the strongest possible peacekeeping force with a clear mandate to protect the people of Darfur immediately,” added David Rubenstein, Coordinator of the Save Darfur Coalition. “The October 1 deadline for deployment is encouraging, but Darfurians will continue to bear the brunt of the government’s genocidal campaign until peacekeeping troops get on the ground.”

Security Council members are expected to begin debate of the draft resolution in the coming days before voting on a final version.  The UN force in Darfur would likely function as part of the UN peacekeeping force already deployed in southern Sudan to monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended the North-South Sudanese civil war in early 2005.

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