Congresswoman Barbara Lee has been named co-chair of the Congressional Sudan Caucus in the House of Representatives. Lee has been a long-standing leader within the Caucus, focusing her efforts on bringing the world's attention to the genocide in Darfur. Congresswoman Lee continues to call attention to the ongoing human calamity in the Sudanese border areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Abyei, and Darfur, and in Yida and other refugee camps in South Sudan. The Sudanese government has targeted civilian populations through the use of indiscriminate bombing and the denial of humanitarian aid. These actions have left nearly half a million people at risk of starvation in the coming weeks and months.
"I am eager to work with my colleagues and fellow co-chairs, Representatives Capuano, Wolf, and McCaul to bring Khartoum, Juba, and all stakeholders together to ensure that peace prevails in the region," said Congresswoman Lee. "At this critical time with Sudan and South Sudan on the brink of war, it is critical that Congress and the United States use all tools at its disposal to bring the two sides to the negotiating table for peace talks."
Congresswoman Lee has sponsored legislation recognizing acts of genocide in the region and urging China as well as the Arab League to step up efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur. Her legislation to allow divestment from companies doing business in the region was enacted into law in 2007. The Congresswoman continues to call on international leaders to support humanitarian efforts to aid delivery and access to these border areas. This week, Congresswoman Lee will participate in a subcommittee hearing on Sudan and will host U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for a special briefing with Members of Congress on international efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Congresswoman Lee fills the seat vacated by the late Representative Donald Payne of New Jersey, a long-time leader on Sudan and conflict resolution in sub-Saharan Africa.