‘Half measures, part-time efforts have clearly failed the people of Darfur’
Contact: John Prendergast
WASHINGTON - Following reports that Andrew Natsios has recently resigned from his post as President Bush's Special Envoy to Sudan, Darfur activists joined together in pressing the White House to immediately tap a full-time envoy and team focused on ending the genocide in Darfur and bringing peace to all of Sudan. In a joint statement, the groups - including the Save Darfur Coalition, the ENOUGH Project, and the Genocide Intervention Network - said lessons must be learned from past diplomatic failures, if the Sudanese people will ever realize a lasting peace and security.
John Prendergast, Save Darfur Coalition board member and ENOUGH Project co-chair said, "Internally, the administration has been deeply divided at the working level on Sudan, thus undermining President Bush's and the U.S. Congress' desire to respond more meaningfully to the crisis in Darfur and South Sudan. Lessons must be applied immediately. The president should appoint a full-time envoy answering directly to him, and end the crippling turf battles once and for all. The envoy should have two strong deputies to work equally on Darfur and the implementation of the existing peace deal for South Sudan. And as part of the president's own 'transformational diplomacy' strategy, a team should be dispatched to the region to work for peace in Sudan full time. This is a legacy issue for President Bush, and millions of Sudanese lives hang in the balance."
"Al-Bashir's scorched earth campaign against civilians is not part-time, the Janjaweed's reign of terror is not part-time, and the sense of insecurity and fear in Darfur is not part-time," said Sam Bell, Save Darfur Coalition board member and Genocide Intervention Network director of advocacy. "So there is no excuse for part-time U.S. engagement on this issue. In light of recent diplomatic developments, the president must now seize this opportunity to appoint a high-level, full-time special envoy whose sole function is full-time diplomatic engagement on this critical issue. Half measures and part-time efforts have clearly failed the people of Darfur."
The groups said the envoy must also work with European and Chinese counterparts to coordinate diplomatic efforts in support of the U.N. and A.U. special representatives, and a quartet should be formed between the U.S., China, France and the U.K. The quartet could work closely with the mediators from the U.N. and African Union, providing ideas and leverage to the process.
Nearly five months after passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1769, which authorized a 26,000 member peacekeeping force, the people of Darfur continue to suffer without adequate protection. Already, two and half millions people have been displaced and somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 have died in Darfur, in addition to over two million dead in Southern Sudan. This cycle of destruction must end. The government of Sudan - the same government that is responsible for so much death and suffering in Darfur and South Sudan - is being allowed to dictate the fates of the Darfuri people and is obstructing deployment of the force in many critical ways.
About the Save Darfur Coalition – The Save Darfur Coalition raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. It is an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org. To obtain footage from the Darfur border region, coalition events, various interviews, and more, please visit the Save Darfur Coalition media gallery at http://media.savedarfur.org. All footage may be previewed in non-broadcast quality and may be purchased in broadcast quality by filling out the purchase request form provided on the site.
About the Genocide Intervention Network – The Genocide Intervention Network is working to build the first permanent anti-genocide constituency in the United States, mobilizing the political will to stop genocide when it occurs. Accessible online at www.GenocideIntervention.net, GI-Net empowers individuals with tools to stop genocide through education, fundraising for civilian protection and advocacy efforts.
About the ENOUGH Project – ENOUGH is a project founded by the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. With an initial focus on the crises in Darfur, eastern Congo, and northern Uganda, ENOUGH’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.