ANCA Calls on US to Take Decisive Action on Darfur during its Rotating Security Council Presidency

WASHINGTON–DC–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) joined with Africa Action Friday in calling on the US government to use its upcoming month-long presidency of the UN Security Council to lead an international effort to end the genocide that is taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Starting on February 1–the US will–for a month–hold the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. During this month-long window–the US–as the only government that has declared that genocide is taking place in Darfur–will have a unique opportunity to galvanize the international community behind the urgent steps needed to save the lives of hundreds and thousands of vulnerable people.

"We join with all our genocide-prevention coalition partners in calling on our government to secure the adoption of a US-authored resolution granting a robust civilian protection mandate to the African Union mission in Darfur and authorizing a broader UN intervention force to be deployed as soon as possible to support the Africa Union effort," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "As Americans–we have this chance–the 28 days of February–to show real leadership–to finally begin–15 months after our assertion that genocide is being committed in Darfur–to meet our solemn obligations as a signatory of the Genocide Convention."

A UN decision to "re-hat" the Africa Union (AU) mission as a UN operation would grant it a strong civilian protection mandate from the international community. The authorization of a UN force to be deployed as soon as possible to the region would provide critical support to the AU mission and provide desperately needed security to the people of Darfur.

An international intervention is essential to serve four main purposes: 1) Stop the killings–rapes and pillaging; 2) Provide security to facilitate humanitarian assistance programs for internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees; 3) Enforce the African Union cease-fire to allow meaningful political negotiations to move forward; and 4) Facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and the reconstruction of their homes.

Recent reports from the UN–humanitarian agencies and the media confirm a sharp deterioration in the security situation in Darfur. Already more than 400,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have been forced out of their homes since the genocide began in 2003. As the violence worsens–growing numbers of people are being attacked and displaced–humanitarian organizations face increasing risks to their operations–and there are new deman’s for a protection force to provide security to the region.

For additional information–visit www.africaaction.org. To register support for strong US action on Darfur–call the US Mission to the UN in New York at (212) 415-4000.

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