April 06, 2004
For Immediate Release
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry issued the following statement today on the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan and the lessons of Rwanda:
"As the world pauses to recall in sorrow and regret the genocide that began ten years ago in Rwanda, we must act to prevent an enormous humanitarian tragedy in the Darfur region of Sudan, where fighting has led to the death and displacement of thousands in recent weeks.
"In neighboring Chad, a process of negotiation has begun between the government of Sudan and the rebels. It is imperative that all pressure be applied on the parties to negotiate an immediate ceasefire and allow access for humanitarian aid. Diplomatic pressure must be applied on the Sudanese government to stop the 'janjaweed' and allow monitoring in Darfur.
"The tragedy in Rwanda continues to give us pause. We must not forget the lessons of Rwanda, and we must demonstrate this by our leadership. We showed that kind of leadership in Bosnia and Kosovo, and it is needed now in Sudan to prevent a full-scale genocide and avoid the kind of broader destabilization that followed the tragic anniversary we mark today.
"I call on the President to demonstrate this kind of leadership in resolving the crisis in Sudan. We need to act now so that we never again find ourselves remembering our own failure to stop another genocide."