STATEMENT

Statement of Congressman Mike Capuano After Meeting With UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Ambassador John Bolton About the Genocide in Darfur


March 7, 2006

"In the last three years, over 400,000 innocent civilians have been murdered in Darfur. Over two million more have been displaced. Congress and President Bush have correctly characterized the horrific acts taking place in Darfur as genocide and we have a moral obligation to do everything possible to stem the tide of unspeakable violence."

"I met today with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton to urge that UN peacekeeping forces quickly be moved into Darfur. The United States must actively push for a UN peacekeeping mission and put the full weight of the U.S. military behind it. More troops, with a mandate to protect civilians, are desperately needed right now. We urged UN Secretary General Annan to put these additional troops in place within the next couple of months. If that timetable cannot be met, then the US must move to strengthen the African Union (AU) force and provide additional support to protect civilians."

"High-level Sudanese officials are known to be responsible for planning and directing the genocide. They must be held accountable for their actions. The International Criminal Court has conducted its investigation for the past year and trials of those suspected should be expedited. The UN Security Council should also immediately enforce its resolution to begin sanctioning those involved."

"The United Nations was created in the aftermath of genocide by countries determined to prevent it from happening again. It's time to back that resolve up with action. Time is running out for the people of Darfur."

Congressman Capuano is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Sudan. He recently traveled to the region on a Congressional delegation trip led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208