EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR DEFENSE, THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, AND HURRICANE RECOVERY, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - March 15, 2006)
Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Chairman, in July of 2004 this House declared atrocities in Darfur to be a genocide. Since that time, actually since 2003, 400,000 people at least have died; 200,000 people are in refugee camps in Chad; 2.5 million people are displaced within Darfur. Over half the population has been affected.
The President has used the word "genocide." The Secretary of State has used the word "genocide." The whole world knows what is going on in Darfur.
Many Members of this House, including many Members on both sides of this aisle, have been very active in this issue. In this bill there is already a lot of money appropriated to continue funding the African Union mission that is currently providing 7,700 troops in Darfur to protect the people that are there. However, everyone knows that that is insufficient. The A.U. is doing a good job with the number of troops it has and with the resources it has, but we all know that it needs more.
The President himself has asked to double the number of troops in the Darfur region. I agree with him. Everybody who watches this issue agrees with him. We have to do something.
The money that is in this bill will maintain the A.U. mission, which is a good thing. However, maintaining it is insufficient.
It will eventually become a mission, and that is a good thing. I hope most of us, if not all of us, will support it. That will take 6 to 9 months at the least. In the meantime, maintaining the current situation is unacceptable. Therefore, I have asked for an additional $50 million to be put forward to enhance that mission.
I understand there is some concern about adding more troops with this money. This money can be used for several different items. It is not just boots on the ground.
First of all, money is fungible. Second of all, these troops also have major problems with communication on the ground, with technical planning on the ground, with equipment on the ground that this money can be used for. This money will be our effort to build a bridge between the current situation and the situation that we all are trying to get to, which hopefully will take less than 9 months.
That is why I offer this amendment. That is why I hope it passes.