The United States is tightening sanctions against Sudan's government for its genocide against the people of Sudan's Darfur region. Since 2003, the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has unleashed its Janjaweed militia against villages as part of a campaign against rebels in Darfur. More than two-hundred-thousand people have died from the conflict, and more than two million others have been forced from their homes and villages.
President George W. Bush said in April that the United States would take new steps against Sudan's government if it failed to live up to its pledges to end the violence in Darfur. Mr. Bush says he made it clear that "the time for promises was over." President Bashir, says President Bush, has not lived up to his obligations:
"One day after I spoke, the military bombed a meeting of rebel commanders designed to discuss a possible peace deal with the government. In the following weeks, he used his army and government-sponsored militias to attack rebels and civilians in South Darfur. He's taken no steps to disarm these militias in the year since the Darfur peace agreement was signed. Senior [Sudanese] officials continue to oppose the deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping force."
In response, the United States will add thirty companies owned or controlled by Sudan's government to a list of Specially Designated Nationals banned from the U.S. banking system. A company that has been transporting weapons to the Sudanese government and militia forces in Darfur will also be added to that list, as will individuals responsible for violence in Darfur.
President Bush says the United States will also consult its allies on a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Darfur that will include new sanctions and an expanded embargo on arms sales to Sudan. The resolution will also prohibit Sudan's government from conducting any offensive military flights over Darfur.
The United States, says Mr. Bush, will continue to support U-N assistance to African Union peacekeepers, who remain the only force protecting the people of Darfur, and to support the quickest possible deployment of a more robust peacekeeping operation:
"We will continue to work for the deployment of a larger hybrid force of A-U and U-N peacekeeping troops. We will continue to support the diplomacy of U-N Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. We will continue to insist on the full implementation of the Darfur peace agreement. We will continue to promote a broadly supported and inclusive political settlement that is the only long-term solution to the crisis in Darfur."
The United States, said President Bush, will not avert its eyes from a crisis that challenges the conscience of the world.