February 28, 2009
Four years now have elapsed, and the atrocities in Darfur-the scene of the 21st century’s first genocide-continue to take place on a daily basis. International efforts have so far proven insufficient to bring about an end to the suffering in Darfur. Diplomatic and economic measures have not yet proven effective in changing the policies and actions of the Khartoum Government, some officials of which already have been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.
The JCPA strongly supports Secretary of State Clinton’s call for a U.S. “commitment to far more robust actions to end the genocide and maximize protection for civilians,” and “to resolve the conflict that underlies the genocide.”
The Darfur tragedy can be seen in the context of a long history of inter-ethnic and regional conflict in the Sudan. Indeed, some two million Sudanese died in an over twenty-year war between the North and South, which was brought to an end with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). That agreement, which provides a framework for a lasting peace in Sudan, is now at risk. Its collapse would have disastrous consequences not just for Darfur but for the entire country.
The JCPA believes that the human rights situation in the Sudan, in general, and in Darfur, in particular, requires the urgent and sustained attention of the new administration, with the support of Congress.
Therefore, the JCPA and its member agencies call upon the U.S. government to:
- Intensify diplomatic efforts, including the appointment of a senior full-time envoy to the Sudan, in combination with the use of stepped up sanctions with teeth directed at the regime in Khartoum;
2. Support prosecution by the International Criminal Court of alleged perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;
- Not exclude the option of military means if feasible, and in coalition with other countries, to protect the innocent civilians in Darfur and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid; and
4. Actively pursue, along with governments of other key nations, implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement — which ended the North-South War and provides a framework for a lasting peace in Sudan.