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Rice On Darfur

Rice On Darfur
Rice On Darfur

The United States strongly supports efforts to end the human suffering in the Darfur region of Sudan. Over the past four years, government supported attacks have killed over two hundred thousand people, and forced another two-point-seven million into camps inside Sudan and in Chad where they suffer and die of starvation and disease.

Since 2005, the United States has delivered more than two billion dollars in humanitarian aid to Darfur. In recent weeks, the U.S. has begun to tighten sanctions against the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for its continuing genocide against the people of Darfur. With the support of the Khartoum government, armed bands of militia called the Janjaweed have been conducting a campaign of terror against the farmers throughout Darfur, destroying communities and killing or displacing the inhabitants.

Speaking in Paris on the eve of a conference on the crisis in Darfur, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged other nations to help bring an end to the violence in western Sudan. She said so far the world has not yet done what's necessary:

"We need to generate the forces in the U.N. so that we can get them in. We need to support the African Union forces that are there. There is a lot to do that I would be the first to say that I do not think the international community has yet, as of yet, discharged its responsibilities very effectively."

But the main culprit for the suffering in Darfur is the Sudanese government. The United States expects the government in Khartoum to follow through on its agreement and finally permit the deployment of a U.N. force to augment the seven thousand African Union peacekeepers in Darfur. Ms. Rice also said that the United States will continue to press for more sanctions against Sudan until its government begins to act responsibly:

"We can no longer afford a situation in Darfur in which agreements are made and not kept. And so the United States will continue to argue that there must be consequences for Sudan, if it does not live up to the obligations that it has undertaken."

President George W. Bush said that the situation in Darfur shows that "evil is not a chapter in history, but a reality in the human heart. It is evil we are seeing in Sudan – and we're not going to back down."