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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Senate Dragging Feet on Darfur Aid

According to an e-mail sent by the Genocide Intervention Network, the Senate had the opportunity to pass the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act (SADA) and failed to due so, thanks to Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE). 

SADA simply put will help protect state and local divestment and prohibit federal contracts with foreign companies helping to fuel the genocide. Legislators and activists have learned from past campaigns and have made sure that the bill will not hurt future business transactions with China and Sudan after the genocide has ended. A summary can be found here (pdf).

The bill sets benchmarks for the Government of Sudan that include:

(1) abide by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007); (2) cease attacks on civilians;(3) demobilize and demilitarize the Janjaweed and associated militias;(4) grant free and unfettered access for delivery of humanitarian assistance; and(5) allow for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

The House version of the bill passed back in July 418 - 1 (the dissenting vote was Republican/Libertarian Ron Paul). It would seem that something with such an overwhelming majority would be a no-brainer for passage.  An October article in the International Herald-Tribune quoted Hagel saying, "I don't think we want to give local governments authority in foreign policy decisions." He eventually stepped aside to let the bill out of committee but is now blocking the bill again. 

Take Action and contact your Senators.  Find out how your congressional delegation scores related to Darfur issues at the Darfur Scorecard.

Additionally, the UN was finally given permission to supply a peacekeeping force into the Darfur area.  To ensure that this force is fully equipped and prepared for success the US and other nations must keep their financial promises.  It is that time of year where the budget is being finalized for 2008.  Make sure we keep our promises

We can end this Genocide that is still killing thousands and displacing millions.  Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

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