For Immediate Release
PHR urged President Bush today to publicly condemn both the Government of Sudan's (GoS) intensifying attacks on civilians in Darfur and its continued obstruction of the UNAMID peacekeeping force's deployment. President Bush is currently finishing a diplomatic tour of Africa, which include a recent visit to the Rwandan Genocide Memorial in Kigali. Though reports show that the overall situation in Darfur is worsening, President Bush recently called the American response to the regional crisis sufficient. PHR believes that increased public pressure by the US is essential to stopping GoS attacks and protecting civilians.
"The Government of Sudan has been flouting the will of the UN Security Council for two years – not only fighting every step of the deployment of a force meant to protect the civilians of Darfur, but continuing aerial attacks on civilians even as the force struggles to gain its footing. said Frank Donaghue, Chief Executive Officer of PHR. "Yet, President Bush has not publicly criticized President Bashir in an effort to stop this obstruction. His recent visit to the memorial for victims of the Rwandan Genocide should be a tragic incentive for the US to do more now in Darfur. In the waning months of his last term, the President must not remain complacent with current US efforts, nor remain silent in the face of ongoing Sudanese attacks in Darfur."
PHR did commend President Bush's announcement yesterday to provide additional funding to African nations contributing to UNAMID, the peacekeeping force for Darfur. But even as President Bush stood at the memorial to victims of the Rwandan genocide, calling on the nations of the world to do more to stop bloodshed in Darfur and Kenya, Darfurians were fleeing from renewed aerial attacks, reportedly committed by the Sudanese Air Force.
Fifteen civilians were killed in the attacks on Jebel Moun, an area where tens of thousands fled following attacks on their nearby villages that itself killed more than 100. At least 12,000 refugees have fled to Chad this month to escape the escalating combat, and 10,000 more are being prevented from crossing the border, allegedly by Sudanese soldiers and Janjaweed militiamen. There has been no condemnation of this attack by international leaders, including President Bush.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.