Statement delivered by Congressman Joe Hoeffel During Protest at Sudan Embassy
Washington, DC (July 20, 2004) - U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel (PA-13) made the following comments today during a protest at the Sudan Embassy. Hoeffel has joined other protesters in demanding that the Sudanese government end its support of the militia who are conducting ethnic cleansing of Black Africans in the Darfur province. Hoeffel is demanding that the United Nations and the world identify this ethnic cleansing as government-supported genocide and that the United Nations Security Council take action to bring immediate humanitarian relief to the hundreds of thousands of people who are at risk.
His statement is as follows:
"I'm here today to add my voice to the outrage that is building throughout our nation and across the world in response to the crisis in Sudan. In a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing reminiscent of Rwanda a decade ago, the Sudanese government has supported and encouraged Arab militias in the slaughter of black Africans in the Darfur region. Thousands have already died; tens of thousands more will likely die due to famine and disease as a result of the violence; and more than a million have been driven from their homes to await a similar fate. It's time for the international community to take action.
"The crisis in Darfur fits every definition of genocide, and must be labeled as such by the United Nations and its member countries. The UN Security Council must immediately pressure the Sudanese government to end its support for the violence and to drop its restrictions on the delivery of much-needed aid to the region. We must act now before this catastrophe escalates any further. I'm hopeful that the Sudanese government will hear the sound of our voices today, end the genocide in Darfur and permit immediate access of international humanitarian relief."