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US's Corzine measure on Darfur passes Senate

4/22/2005 7:35am


WASHINGTON, Apr 21, 2005 (AP) -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a measure sponsored by Sen. Jon Corzine demanding that the genocide in the war-ravaged Darfur region in Sudan be stopped. The Senate also approved a Corzine amendment adding $90 million for humanitarian aid to the region.

"We will continue to raise this issue until the killings stop," said Corzine, D-N.J. "Today's milestone brings us closer to that goal."

Corzine, along with Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, has spearheaded measures regarding Darfur in the Senate. Corzine said his interest in Darfur is one everyone should share.

"If we are committed to saying never again with regard to the killing fields of Cambodia or the genocide of Rwanda, or even the kinds of actions that took place in World War II, we need to react to what is happening now," Corzine said. "We can't have a review of our actions and history showing that we stood on the sidelines when we could have taken a stand on a moral issue."

Corzine visited Darfur last year and plans to go to the region again next week.

The Darfur Accountability Act calls for sanctions against the Sudan and the establishment of a special presidential envoy to the region, Corzine added. Similar legislation is pending in the House of Representatives.

The Darfur conflict began after two non-Arab rebel groups took up arms against the Arab-dominated government in February 2003 to win more political and economic rights for the region's African tribes.

Sudan's government is accused of responding by backing the Janjaweed militia in a campaign of wide-scale abuses, including rape and killings, against Sudanese of African origin. The government denies backing the Janjaweed.

The United Nations has called Darfur the world's worst humanitarian crisis. An estimated 180,000 people have died in the upheaval and about 2 million others have been displaced since the conflict began.

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