Yesterday, President Bush told Sudan that he was ready to tighten economic sanctions as well as impose new ones in order to bring the violence in Darfur to a stop. This ramped up rhetoric comes as Sudan has agreed to accept 3000 peacekeeping forces to bolster the beleaguered and under-funded AU mission that is currently operating in the region.
With the US presidential campaigns filling the media, it wasn’t surprising to see that Barack Obama issued the following press release in response to Bush’s statements:
“President Bush may have spoken with passion about the genocide in Darfur, but his actions — while stronger than those of many other nations – once again fall far short of what is urgently needed to stop the senseless slaughter of innocents.”
“The measures announced by President Bush, combined with the only sporadic engagement of U.S. diplomats in this crisis, will only reinforce Khartoum’s perception that the U.S. is unwilling to take tough action to halt the genocide, and allow the Sudanese government additional opportunities to delay the arrival of UN forces to support the over-burdened African Union mission. Tough sanctions and holding perpetrators of genocide accountable for their actions are essential to influence Sudanese behavior.”
“The crisis in Sudan and the situation in the sub-region continues to worsen by the day. The recent announcement by the Government of Sudan that it will finally accept 3,000 UN peacekeepers is insufficient to stop the killing. It is time for the Administration and the international community to take long-overdue steps to ensure that Khartoum allows the immediate and unconditional deployment of a robust international force with a clear mandate to protect civilians and stop the slaughter.”
Even though I enjoy hearing Obama’s compassionate outcry over the violence, I can’t help but note that our entire government (Senate, House, and Executive) has failed to properly react to this situation. As has been the case in every previous genocide.