Sunday, July 24, 2005

Announcements for this week, Darfur, Sudan

Legislative Update and Action Alert
Please contact Congress to support funding for African Union troops in Darfur.

On Wednesday, July 19, the Senate unanimously agreed to an amendment (SA 1290) to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (HR 3057) that would provide additional funding to the AU mission in Sudan. The amendment’s co-sponsors were Senators Corzine (NJ), DeWine (OH), Durbin (IL), Brownback (KS), and Obama (IL).

However, in the next few days, House and Senate negotiators will meet to work out differences in this legislation and finalize amendments. The AU has said it lacks $200 million for its mission in Darfur, so it is extremely important that the conference committee members retain SA 1290 in the final version of the bill. Please write your Representatives to urge their support for any amendments to HR 3057 that would provide additional funding for the African Union troops.

National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection: A Success!
Thousands of congregations around the country participated in the National Weekend of Prayer last weekend, making hundreds of thousands more Americans aware about the situation in Darfur and calling them to action. We would like to thank all participating congregations for taking part in this event, and especially to thank all volunteers who called religious centers to invite their involvement. Finally, we ask that congregations who participated but did not register on Save Darfur’s website email your congregation’s name and location to, so that we can inform you of further ways to stay involved in the effort to help the people of Darfur.

Save Darfur Coalition releases joint statement with British and French groups to urge greater government action on Darfur
On July 19, the Save Darfur Coalition, the Collecif Urgence Darfour (France), and Protect Darfur (United Kingdom) issued a joint declaration urging their countries to immediately sponsor a United Nations Security Council resolution that will mandate peace enforcement operations in Darfur, Sudan. Organizers of the effort hope to spur the UN Security Council to act, noting in the statement that “As three of the permanent five members, the governments of the USA, France and the United Kingdom have significant influence at the UN Security Council.” For the full text of the statement, email

Recommended reading: Discussion paper on Darfur by the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
In June 2005, the Jacob Blaustein Institute produced an excellent report that concisely details the situation in Darfur and includes the most current information. This ten-page paper discusses the dimensions of the current situation in Darfur and the international response to it in an effort to clarify whether the measures taken are suitable to the need. It also recommends actions that can be taken at this time.