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Declaring Genocide in Darfur, Sudan

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Location: Washington, DC


DECLARING GENOCIDE IN DARFUR, SUDAN -- (House of Representatives - July 21, 2004)

Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 467) declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan, as amended.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, in 1994, the U.S., along with rest of the world, stood and watched as 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered in Rwanda. In April of this year, the world community marked the 10th year of the modern-day genocide in Rwanda and said never again.

Today, we are in danger of failing to honor that commitment, and this resolution goes a long way to ensuring that the United States will play a profound role in stopping the genocide.

The Darfur region of western Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is engulfed in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Since 2003, the Sudanese government and their murderous Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, have waged a deliberate and systematic campaign of rape, of torture, of starvation and murder of innocent Darfurian civilians.

If genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, then the deliberate killings of tens of thousands of black Sudanese happening right now certainly qualifies. The U.S. Government must call it genocide. The term "genocide" not only captures the fundamental characteristics of the Khartoum government's intent and actions in western Sudan, but it also invokes clear international obligations, and that is why this resolution is so important.

Mr. Speaker, on the ground, we are trying our best to get aid to the Darfurians during the rainy season. U.S. Administrator Natsios from USAID said that even if we are successful, 300,000 Darfurians will lose their lives; and if we do not act immediately, 1 million Darfurians are sure to lose their lives or be at risk.

The answer, Mr. Speaker, beyond the declaration of genocide, is to ensure that the AU, that the various Arab governments in the region, along with the United States, provide immediate military relief so that aid can get to Darfurians immediately. The United States Government has 2,000 troops in Jabudi; 2,000 troops. They are the closest troops, the closest opportunity that we have, to ensure that the Janjaweed are disarmed, so that aid workers can get aid to the people in Darfur.

So beyond the declaration of genocide, we must move to provide the security for the Darfurians and keep the Janjaweed from continuing their murderous efforts in Darfur.

[Begin Insert]

Mr. Speaker, as parties to the Genocide Convention, all permanent members of the UN Security Council and more than 130 countries worldwide, are bound to prevent, stop and punish the perpetrators of genocide-a unique crime against humanity in international law.

The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Article II describes two elements of the crime of genocide. A crime must include both elements to be called "genocide":

1. the mental element, meaning the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such", and

2. the physical element, which includes: Killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Since 1993, the Sudanese government and their militia have implemented a reign of terror in Darfur. An estimated 30,000, have been killed in the last year. More than one million black Sudanese have been forced from their homes. The attackers have raped civilians and destroyed their villages. They have destroyed the crops, livestock and farms upon which the region's people depend. They have poisoned their water supply. They have launched systematic and indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground attacks on unarmed civilians. They have deliberately blocked humanitarian assistance to the region.

If the Sudanese government continues its brutality, or the international community fails to adequately intervene, as many as 1 million more Darfurians are at-risk of dying of starvation and disease.

In the words of one New York Times columnist, if the people of Sudan "..... aren't victims of genocide, then the word has no meaning."

Mr. Speaker, there is a genocide taking place in Sudan and we must stop it. We call on the Administration to immediately lead an international effort to stop the death and destruction in Darfur.

[End Insert]

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