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PHR Warns President Bush's Unilateral Sanctions on Sudan Won't Stop Killing in Darfur; Calls on the US to Cooperate with International Criminal Court

For Immediate Release

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is concerned that President Bush's announcement of unilateral sanctions against 30 Sudanese companies and three individuals will not impact the government of Sudan enough to stop the bloodshed in Darfur.

"Sudan is flush with wealth from recent Chinese and South Asian investment in its oil sector. President Bush's sanction package does nothing to put in place the sustained, multilateral barriers required to hit the Bashir regime hard," said PHR's Deputy Director, Susannah Sirkin. "Also, sanctioning only three individuals does little to stop a campaign of genocide conceived at the very highest levels of the Sudanese Government."

Citing a lack of cooperation by the US with the International Criminal Court, PHR calls on the US to fully assist the ICC in investigating, capturing and trying all those responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

"The US must be serious in its intent to hold perpetrators accountable; it should actively assist the International Criminal Court with its prosecution of named suspects iin the Darfur case," said PHR's Deputy Director, Susannah Sirkin. "The US should assist in immediate efforts to bring the named suspects to The Hague for trial, and share with the ICC all evidence it has – both satellite imagery and other intelligence – which would assist in the prosecution's case. These trials will not only bring some measure of comfort to the survivors of the genocide, but might also deter governments from unleashing violence against its own people".

PHR commends the President's intention to seek a tough new Security Council Resolution and his sustained commitment to the deployment of a hybrid peacekeeping force, which would augment the current force of approximately 7,000 AU troops with an additional 16,000 troops as agreed upon in UN Security Council Resolution 1706. However, the health and human rights group urges the US to work quickly with its allies in the Security Council, Africa and the Arab world to ensure that these troops are deployed quickly.

"President Bush must move from simply 'insisting' that the hybrid force is deployed and the Darfur Peace Agreement is fully implemented to ensuring that these critical steps happen," said Sirkin. "The people of Darfur have been dying for four years due to a lack of any adequate protection, while the international community has allowed President Bashir to obstruct this force for nearly a year. Time is up!"

PHR also calls upon the international community to enforce the Government of Sudan's responsibility to adequately compensate all Darfurian victims for losses at the hands of the Sudanese Army and the Janjaweed militias.

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.

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Kevin Short

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