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8/11/04 - HELPING THE PEOPLE OF DARFUR - 2004-08-12

President George W. Bush has signed legislation providing ninety-five million dollars to help the people of Darfur, in western Sudan. The U.S. previously contributed more than one-hundred-forty-million dollars for relief efforts.

Attacks by the Sudanese government-supported Janjaweed Arab militias have killed thousands of black African Sudanese in Darfur and contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of others. More than a million people have been displaced and remain at risk.

President Bush describes the situation in Darfur as “brutal”:

“No amount of aid can substitute for true and lasting peace. The government of Sudan must stop the violence of Janjaweed militias, and all parties must respect the cease-fire and allow the free movement of humanitarian workers and supplies."

The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution requiring the Sudanese government to take immediate steps to calm the situation in Darfur, protect the people there, and disarm the Janjaweed militias. The Sudanese government has thirty-days to comply. If it does not, the U-N Security Council expressed its intention to consider further measures, including sanctions.

International pressure will continue until Sudan resolves the situation in Darfur in an acceptable manner. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says, “only the government of Sudan can end the violence.” The Sudanese government, he says, “bears the responsibility to face up to the crisis, end human-rights abuses, and save the lives of its own citizens.” As Secretary of State Powell put it, “Far too many innocent lives have been lost already.”