Home | Press Releases    Tuesday 8 June 2004

Statement by Senator Kerry on the Crisis in Darfur

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WASHINGTON, Jun 7, 2004 (U.S. Newswire) — Senator John Kerry released the following statement today on the crisis in Darfur:
"The world did not act in Rwanda, to our eternal shame. Now we are at another crisis point this time in Sudan. The Sudan’s western Darfur region demands the world’s immediate attention and action. Rampages against defenseless civilians by government- sponsored militia have caused the deaths of an estimated 30,000 people, and more than one million have been made homeless. The Administrator of the US Agency for International Development estimated last week that at least 300,000 more will die and up to one million could die if the Sudanese government continues to terrorize civilians and impede humanitarian access. The United Nations and human rights experts agree that the government of Sudan is committing crimes against humanity and that the risk of genocide is real.

"I believe that the United States and the international community must act immediately to apply effective pressure on the Government of Sudan to rein in its militia proxies and to immediately provide unrestricted access for humanitarian aid and aid workers. We must also act swiftly to initiate negotiations aimed at securing a political settlement to the conflict. And because there is no guarantee that the Sudanese government will relent, we must also start planning now for the possibility that the international community, acting through the United Nations, will be forced to intervene urgently to save the lives of the innocent.

"The United States, working with the governments of the region and our allies in the United Kingdom and Norway has recently made significant progress towards a final peace agreement between the Sudanese government and its southern opposition. While this is a welcome development, the peace agreement will be fundamentally compromised if the world stands by while the government threatens the lives and livelihoods of other citizens of Sudan."

http://www.usnewswire.com

CONTACT: Allison Dobson of John Kerry for President, 202-464-280

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