Senator Charles Schumer commenting on the situation in Darfur in a personal email to me. Officially titled the "Darfur Conflict" it is simply a genocide of the ethnic African residents of Darfur region by the government affiliated Arab militias of Sudan.
Dear Mr. Soman,
Thank you for your letter regarding the situation in Darfur. I share your concern for the Sudanese people who are paying a heavy price for this prolonged crisis.
The government of Sudan has constantly behaved in an abusive and violent manner. Its leaders have repeatedly attacked their own citizens with impunity. Although the international community has tried continuously to pressure the regime in Khartoum to stop massacring its own people, the government has remained stubborn to international pressure.
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The conflict in Darfur has continued to affect far too many people. With over 2.7 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Darfur, and over 700,000 refugees fleeing the country, this crisis has also threatened the stability of neighboring countries in the region. Regrettably, the violence has continued for far too long, with almost 137,000 people displaced between January and mid-May 2009. Also troubling are the restrictions placed on aid agencies in the area. The reduced access to affected populations in Darfur is threatening lives, even while USAID, with other aid agencies, has worked hard to make sure that humanitarian assistance gets to the people who desperately need it. Thankfully, this summer, the United States government has been part of emergency measures that have been taken to provide food assistance.
I have consistently worked to use the authority of the United States Senate to end the genocide in Darfur. Last year, I cosponsored two bills calling for peace in Darfur. Both bills, S.455 and S.684, passed in the Senate. I’ve also voted in favor of measures to help increase the efficiency of peace keepers serving in Darfur. It is the aim of our government to ensure that the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur has the tools it needs to complete the mission. Unfortunately, none of these measures have been enough to bring peace to Darfur.
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I am continuing to search for new solutions to the problems plaguing this beleaguered nation, and I will work tirelessly on this issue until it is resolved. I also wholeheartedly support the Administration’s efforts to bring about a lasting peace in the region and I look forward to our diplomatic representatives in the region working aggressively to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis in Sudan.
Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance on this, or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator