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IRD Praises US Action Against Khartoum, Demands Other World Leaders Step Up in Stopping the Genocide

Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, jwalton@ird-renew.org; both with Institute on Religion and Democracy

WASHINGTON, May 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Tuesday President Bush announced immediate sanctions against the Sudanese government for its refusal to stop the killing in Darfur, western Sudan. The United States will sanction thirty companies owned or controlled by Sudan, and a company that transports weapons to government and militia forces in Darfur. It will block the assets of two Sudanese officials and one Darfurian rebel leader who are responsible for violence in Darfur. The United States will also work for a U.N. Security Council resolution to enforce a no-fly zone and an arms embargo on the Government of Sudan.

IRD's Faith J.H. McDonnell, director of the Church Alliance for a New Sudan, released the following:

"Once again, the United States has taken the lead where other nations have not, as well as the United Nations. The President's announcement that the U.S. government would apply new pressure on the Sudanese regime, which has been complicit in the bombing, murder, and rape of innocent civilians, challenges other nations to stand with us against the genocide in Darfur.

"Credit must be given to advocates working for just peace and freedom in Sudan who have called for action, and kept the horror of genocide in Sudan before the U.S. government for over ten years. Some 300,000 Darfurian men, women, and children have died, and millions have been displaced. This is the second phase of the genocide perpetrated by Khartoum to eradicate the black, African identity of Sudan. The first phase of genocide claimed over two million lives in Southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains.

"Some criticize the delay in enacting sanctions. But both the United Nations and congressional leaders asked President Bush to delay so that they might try yet again a diplomatic approach with the regime.

"People may disagree whether more or different sanctions are justified. The targeted approach announced by the president may not be all we desire, but along with all the other responses of this administration on Sudan, it is deeply appreciated by the Sudanese people."

IRD guest, Southern Sudanese priest Peter Adum Deng, discussed the sanctions with the Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Deng, who works with Darfurian refugees, stated:

"On behalf of the people of Darfur, we are very grateful. We thank God for President Bush."