September 15, 2006
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As we have done several times over the last few years, we write to you with profound concern over the increasingly dire humanitarian crisis and worsening genocide in Darfur. The United States simply cannot stand by while the government of Sudan continues its campaign of terror and atrocities against innocent civilians. We urge you to use your speech at the United Nations on Tuesday to call special attention to Darfur and the need for the international community to take immediate, decisive action to end the genocide.
The situation in Darfur has dramatically deteriorated over the last several weeks. In direct violation of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and numerous UN Security Council resolutions, Khartoum has begun to deploy some 26,000 troops to the Darfur region. This has coincided with a sharp increase in attacks on civilians and humanitarian aid workers, renewed aerial bombardment, and the all but complete deterioration of the fragile DPA.
The member states of the United Nations have simply not done enough to stop the brutal violence that has occurred in Darfur in the past three years. We urge you to call publicly for full implementation of all UN resolutions on Darfur, and for all member states, particularly Russia and China with considerable influence in Khartoum, to do more.
As the international community debates whether or not an
international force, in addition to that already deployed by the African
Union in Darfur and by the UN in other parts of Sudan, can be deployed
without the consent of the Sudanese government, we
hope you will cite as examples the intervention of international forces
in the 1990’s in Africa and Europe. We do not believe the
approval of those who have allowed genocide to occur in Darfur is necessary before other nations intercede to bring it to an end.
We would also ask that you use your influence to urge the African Union to renew its mandate until a UN force can take over. The United States should take a leadership role in ensuring that the AU force is properly supplied and equipped. The prospect of leaving a void is a clear recipe for disaster.
Finally, we ask that you immediately appoint a special envoy on Sudan. Now, more than ever, a person with a robust mandate and direct access to you is needed to demonstrate the priority the United States attaches to ending the genocide quickly.
We would like to request a meeting in the coming days to further discuss possible US responses to this emergency. The people of Darfur have suffered for far too long. After each genocide of the last century, Rwanda being the most recent, we vowed “never again.” Yet we have become witness to another genocide. Now is the time to act.