C B C Call to Stop Genocide in Darfur

نداء أنساني بخصوص الدكتور الباقر العفيف
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24-06-2004, 02:07 PM

Salwa Seyam
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تاريخ التسجيل: 12-04-2004
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C B C Call to Stop Genocide in Darfur

    Congressional Black Caucus joins Africa Action in Call for US Intervention to Stop Genocide in Darfur
    Press Conference Highlights Urgency of Crisis;
    Promotes Petition targeting Secretary Powell, Calls for 10,000 Signatures

    Wednesday, June 23, 2004 (Washington, DC) - Leading Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) joined Africa Action today for a press conference on Capitol Hill, where they called attention to the genocide taking place in Darfur and urged the US to lead an immediate intervention to stop the killing. Speakers at the press conference included eight members of the CBC, among them: Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chair of the Caucus, Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on International Relations and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), Caucus Whip and Africa Action Board member. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also spoke at the press conference.

    Africa Action’s Executive Salih Booker said today, "Pressure is building on US officials, as they consider whether what’s happening in Darfur meets the legal definition of ‘genocide’. As was the case a decade ago during the genocide in Rwanda, the US refuses to say the word. If we fail to act, a million people could die before the end of this year. We urge Secretary of State Powell to support an immediate intervention to stop the killing."

    The Congressional Black Caucus supports the petition, launched by Africa Action last week, calling on US Secretary of State Colin Powell to use the word 'genocide' to describe the crisis in Darfur and to support an urgent intervention. Also today, members of the Congressional Black Caucus will add their names to Africa Action’s petition in a signing ceremony at 5:30pm. The petition has already gathered more than 3,000 signatures, and is being circulated widely in the US and internationally. Africa Action aims to collect more than 10,000 signatures by the end of June.

    Booker continued, "The Congressional Black Caucus has long been known as the ‘Conscience of Congress’, and their support for this petition drive makes this a powerful force that Colin Powell cannot ignore. Already thousands of people around the country have signed on, because they understand that genocide is a crime in international law and they believe that the US has an obligation to respond to the crisis in Darfur."

    CBC Chairman Cummings said, "We choose to stand up and speak out when others choose to sit down and remain silent. We are the voice for the voiceless."

    Representative Donald Payne, who has been deeply involved in US relations with Sudan for more than a decade, has accused the Sudan government of pursuing a "scorched earth" policy in Darfur. Payne asked, "What good is it to sign a peace agreement in the South if you engage in ethnic cleansing in Darfur?"

    Representative Barbara Lee said, "I stand in solidarity with the people struggling for survival in Darfur. The United States and others in the international community must make Darfur a priority and act immediately to stop the atrocities taking place."

    To sign the petition, visit Africa Action’s website at http://www.africaaction.org/
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