Sudan Divestment Bill Passed in House of Representatives by Overwhelming Majority
Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act Establishes Federal List of Culpable Companies Doing Business with Khartoum
Prohibits Federal Contracts and Authorizes States to Divest From Offending Companies
Contact: Lauren C. Virnoche, Communications Assistant, 202-481-8220
WASHINGTON, July 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 180, the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007, by an overwhelming majority of 418 to 1.
Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee and co-sponsored by 130 members of the House of Representatives, this bill will authorize and protect states that divest from the culpable companies that support the genocidal government of Sudan and refuse to change their behavior.
Since 2003, as many as 400,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced. The violence has spread into Chad and the Central African Republic resulting in hundreds of thousands of refugees.
"Three years ago, the United States Congress made an unprecedented announcement acknowledging the atrocities in Darfur as genocide," says Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Mark Hanis. "Today, the House of Representatives took powerful action to see that this genocide comes to an end. It's now up to the Senate and President Bush to follow the House's lead."
Despite existing bans prohibiting U.S. companies from conducting business operations in Sudan, institutions and even individuals throughout the United States are indirectly fueling the genocide by investing in foreign companies complicit in the bloodshed. The Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act will establish a federal list of the culpable foreign companies to better inform Americans regarding their investments.
Furthermore, the bill forbids the U.S. federal government from entering into or renewing contracts with companies included on that list and authorizes state and local governments to do the same. H.R. 180 also protects these state and local governments and asset managers who divest.
Since the government of Sudan relies heavily on foreign investment to fund its military, divestment is an effective strategic move against the crisis. The Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act will maximize the impact of divestment on the Sudanese government while minimizing potential harm to both innocent Sudanese civilians and investment returns.
DIVESTMENT STATISTICS FROM WWW.SUDANDIVESTMENT.ORG
A Project of the Genocide Intervention Network
19 states have adopted divestment policies from Sudan. Twelve of these states have passed the Sudan Divestment Task Force model of targeted Sudan divestment: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. Seven of these states have developed state specific methods of Sudan divestment: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon.
18 other states have initiated Sudan divestment campaigns. Seven of these states have targeted Sudan divestment legislation currently introduced: Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Eleven of these states have campaigns awaiting introduction of legislation or are pursuing Sudan divestment by other means: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
54 universities have adopted divestment policies from Sudan. Beginning with the first university -- Harvard -- to the most recent -- including the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois and Connecticut College -- in a display of grassroots power, students, faculty and administrators have united to ensure that their schools make conscionable, genocide-free investments. 47 other universities have initiated campaigns to pursue Sudan divestment policies.
9 cities have adopted divestment policies from Sudan: Denver; Los Angeles; Miami Beach, Fla., New Haven, Conn.; Newton, Mass; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; and San Francisco.
8 countries have initiated targeted Sudan divestment campaigns. International divestment campaigns currently include Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
5 companies -- Rolls Royce, Siemens, ABB, CHC Helicopter and Schlumberger -- have ceased operations in Sudan or formalized and publicized a plan to do so, or have significantly changed their behavior in the country since the Sudan divestment movement began.