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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005

Location: Washington DC


Mr. DeWINE. I thank the Chair, and I thank my colleague from Virginia.

Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, several weeks ago, I came to the floor to talk about the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, where it is estimated at least 30,000 people have already been killed and 1 million people-maybe even 2 million-have lost their homes, have been driven from their homes in a government-led campaign of ethnic cleansing. To get a better idea or another way of looking at this, it is estimated that in this government-led campaign of ethnic cleansing, 341 villages have been completely destroyed, and 99 villages have been partially destroyed. It is also estimated these villages are, on average, made up of 4,000 or 5,000 people to a village. I think my colleagues can understand the gravity of this crisis.

Many of these individuals are now homeless. Those who have not been killed have fled, and many of them are in refugee camps. The looming crisis is absolutely unbelievable. This is clearly the world's greatest crisis today.

The Government of Sudan announced this past weekend it intends to disarm the militia responsible for these atrocities and present them to justice. We can only hope and pray what the Government of Sudan says is now correct. The Government of Sudan has made similar statements in the past that have turned out not to be true. The Government of Sudan has made similar statements in the past. For example, it is OK for refugees to return to Darfur, all at the same time their very own government planes were locating villages for the militias to attack. In addition, there are still 1 to 2 million people still in need of humanitarian assistance.

We do not need promises from the Government of Sudan. What we do need, though, is action. That is why I am back on the floor today to outline what we need to see accomplished in Darfur.

First, we need to see that the Government of Sudan is allowing unfettered access to humanitarian aid. This means granting visas and travel permits in a timely manner, not just to U.S. Government agencies, but to all of the groups trying to help deal with the humanitarian crisis that exists today in Darfur.

If one truck or one pallet of supplies is unreasonably delayed, the Government of Sudan must be held accountable. The Government of Sudan must know the world is watching and that we will not accept anything short of their full cooperation.

Second, the recent decision to disarm the militias needs to be accompanied by a plan to prosecute those guilty of ethnic cleansing and genocide. The ranks of the government and military branches in Sudan need to be searched, and those guilty of participating in the ethnic cleansing need to be prosecuted. Competent tribunals need to be established and justice served in Darfur. An unjust peace will provide no peace for Darfur.

Third, the Government of Sudan must prove they have a long-term plan to ensure that these atrocities simply will not continue. That is why it is essential we dedicate the resources necessary to ensure a robust African Union monitoring mission in Darfur. The Darfur region is the size of Texas and, therefore, a handful of monitors simply will not be enough to ensure that the killing and violence has stopped. We must be committed to this in the long haul and the Government of Sudan must be as well.

Until such time as the Government of Sudan accomplishes all of these things, we should not relieve any of the pressure we have put on them, and neither should the international community. The pressure is beginning to work, but it must continue. Therefore, I believe the United Nations Security Council must pass a resolution authorizing peacekeepers for Darfur. If the Government of Sudan is serious about ending this conflict, then they have no reason to object to U.N. troops monitoring the cease-fire and ensuring that the humanitarian aid flows. If the Government of Sudan objects to peacekeepers, we will know their promises were not serious. This is a litmus test and the world will be watching.

We also should expect the U.S. Department of State to move forward in naming names of militia members and Sudanese Government officials involved in the killings and atrocities. We must do everything in our power to ensure that the guilty are punished. For the women who are raped and then branded, for the children who were slaughtered, and for the 30,000 who were killed because of the color of their skin, we must ensure that justice is served.

I closed my speech last time talking about time and about how our window of opportunity was closing. Nothing has changed. We still face the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and 2 million people are counting on us. If we are serious after the horrible tragedy a decade ago of Rwanda, if we are serious that we will never again allow genocide to go unpunished, if we are serious that we will not allow this to happen again, we cannot lose our focus. The Government of Sudan must know we are still watching, that we will continue to watch, and that nothing short of complete compliance will deter us from helping the people of Darfur.

I thank the Chair and yield the floor.

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