PRESS RELEASE

Capuano Praises President Obama's Appointment of Envoy to Sudan

Sends Letters to Other International Leaders Urging Action

March 19, 2009

Washington, DC — Rep. Mike Capuano today praised President Barack Obama's appointment of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration as the United States Special Envoy to Sudan. Rep. Capuano recently wrote to the President urging that such action be taken immediately. "I am very encouraged by the President's decision to appoint a Special Envoy to Sudan. This sends a clear message to indicted Sudanese President Omar al Bashir that the United States is deeply committed to bringing peace to the region and ending the atrocities there," stated Rep. Mike Capuano, co-founder and co-chair of the Sudan Caucus.

Since Bashir's March 4th indictment, the Government of Sudan, under his orders, expelled 13 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), accusing them of cooperating with the International Criminal Court's investigation of his actions. These organizations offer an invaluable service, providing close to 50% of the aid coming into Darfur. In response to this disturbing action, Rep. Capuano worked with Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas in sending letters to leaders with close ties to Bashir: President Hu Jintao of China, Secretary-General Amre Moussa of the Arab League of States, and Chairman Muammar Qadhafi of the African Union. The leaders were urged to persuade Bashir to let the NGOs back into Darfur.

"It is without question that these NGOs are vital to the survival of so many innocent people and we are hoping that the three leaders will talk to their friend. So far, Mr. Bashir has turned a deaf ear on the suffering of his own people. Perhaps he will listen to those he does business with on a regular basis," stated Rep. Capuano.

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