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Rep. Pitts Condemns Use of Rape as a Weapon of Terror in Sudan

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Pitts condemns use of rape as a weapon of terror in Sudan
Commends President for leadership on calling situation genocide

Washington-Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) today issued the following statement regarding the use of rape by the Sudanese ruling regime as a tool to complement its efforts to exterminate the black African population in southern Sudan. The issue is addressed in today's issue of the Los Angeles Times.

"The use of rape as a weapon to breed out the black population in Sudan, particularly Darfur in the west, is repulsive. But it's happening and the international community has denied it for too long. International relief agencies have reported extensively on this practice and believe that it to be even more widespread than official figures indicate.

"This idea is not new. For centuries tyrants have used rape as a weapon of terror to breed out whole ethnic groups, silence opposition, and eliminate 'impure' races. Today, the regimes in Sudan and Burma wield that weapon with tremendous impunity.

"Khartoum is ruled by an extremist Arab, Muslim regime. It's the same group that sheltered Osama bin Laden in the '90s, before succumbing to calls for his expulsion. The Darfur area of Sudan is inhabited mostly by black African Muslims.

"For years the regime in Khartoum has tried unsuccessfully to eliminate its black, Muslim neighbors in the South and West. Today, the regime has been able to make progress on this 'purification' because of the silence of the international community.

"I commend this Administration for calling this dreadful situation what it is: genocide. Once again opposition to decisive action is led by the French who fail to unequivocally condemn this injustice in the clearest possible terms.

"Our nation's leaders should follow the lead of Secretary of State Powell and President Bush and shed light on what's happening in Sudan and urge the international community to do the same. We need to act, and we need to do it now to stop the use of rape as a weapon of terror."

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