June 23, 2006 (WASHINGTON) – A Democratic US Senator hailed the passage of a new legislation that will compel the Pentagon to explain its role in assisting the implementation of Darfur peace deal.
Working to push the Bush administration to more fully and effectively address the ongoing genocide in Sudan, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today hailed the passage of new legislation that will compel the Defense Department to explain its role in assisting the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed on 5 May 2006.
“The Congress and the Bush administration were right to label the atrocities in Sudan as genocide, but with the Darfur Peace Agreement signed, now is the time for engagement,” said Reid. “Just yesterday, the African Union and the United Nations warned of the ‘risk of major violence’ in Darfur. Now more than ever, we must do everything possible to assist the African Union Mission in Sudan. This new legislation is an important step forward.”
The new legislation, passed as part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill, directs the Department of Defense to report to Congress on what it can offer to support the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in its efforts to stop the genocide, on plans to provide intelligence and tactical mobility to AMIS, on its efforts to mobilize the international community to commit troops to support a future United Nations’ mission in Sudan, and on its work to improve the interoperability of AMIS’s communications technology.
Earlier this week, Senator Reid also renewed his call for the appointment of a special envoy to Sudan. In a letter to the Secretary of State, Senator Reid noted that the pending departure of Bob Zoellick provided yet another reason to appoint a special envoy to oversee the implementation of the peace accords. Senator Reid first called for a special envoy in a letter sent to President Bush on May 25th.
Currently there are roughly 7,000 African Union troops trying to stop the genocide in Sudan. After an estimated 200,000 deaths, it is time for the United States to offer more than sympathy.