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4/06/2005
100 Days of Action to combat genocide in Darfur, Sudan
"If every member of the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have been different."
-Senator Paul Simon, after the Rwandan genocide

April 6 will mark the beginning of 100 Days of Action to combat genocide in Darfur, Sudan. This date was chosen because it marks the anniversary of the start of the 100 day genocide in Rwanda in 1994 where 800,000 people lost their lives. On this day, Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ), primary authors of the Darfur Accountability Act, and Representative Donald Payne, author of the Darfur Genocide Accountability Act, will speak in Washington to kick off a campaign to bring awareness and attention to the atrocities occuring in Darfur. The bills call for several specific actions, including creating a new U.N. Security Council resolution with sanctions; supports increased presence of the African Union peacekeepers, freezing assets and denying visas to those responsible for the genocide and other war crimes; and making Darfur a military no-fly zone.

An estimated 350,000 people have been killed by the Sudanese military and janjawid militia in Southern Sudan. Another 3 million are displaced from their homes and in danger of starvation, illness, and continued harassment in temporary camps. Several hundred thousand more are in refugee camps in Chad.

We must be the voice for these voiceless people and I am asking for your help. We are urging our govenment to pass strong resolutions of support for the people of Sudan and against the genocide occurring there. I am including two links here which will give you more information about Sudan, ways to act by contacting your congress people, and other humanitarian and political ways to support the people of Darfur.

http://www.stopgenocidenow.org/ and http://www.genocideinterventionfund.org/

Please take the time to learn more about Darfur and let your Congress people know that you want them to act on your behalf to bring peace to the people of this devastated region.

Another way we can make an impact is to support divestment. On March 31st the California Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging California's $300 billion retirement funds for public employees to avoid investing in global companies that do business in Sudan. Nation-wide, public retirement funds have in excess of $91 billion invested in companies active in Sudan. You might want to bring this up to your legislators as well. Without our funds, it would be more difficult for the government to buy weapons to kill their own citizens. You can find a complete list at http://www.sudancampaign.com/sudaninvestments.htm