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Sunday Rally for Darfur, Calls for Halting Violence and Protecting Refugees Growing

Washington, DC | April 28, 2006 | This Sunday, April 30, over 130 faith based, humanitarian, and human rights organizations are set to hold a rally in Washington, DC, to bring attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Organizers hope that the “Save Darfur: Rally to Stop the Genocide,” will draw tens of thousands of supporters, and push the Administration and the international community to take more effective measures to protect innocent refugees and civilians, and provide much needed relief supplies. Speakers at the rally include: Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus; Senator Barak Obama (D-IL); House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); entertainers and activists George Clooney and Russell Simmons; and many others. To learn more about the rally see: http://www.savedarfur.org/rally/
Today in the news, it was reported that the UN plans to cut individual food rations to six million refugees who escaped the violence in Sudan by half. Additionally, it was reported that five members of Congress, were arrested as they protested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC. Members of Congress were participating in a protest calling on the government of Sudan to accept peacekeeping forces in the Darfur region, and to allow those effected full access to humanitarian relief.
According to Amnesty International, at least 300,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed, and more than 2 million displaced from their homes over the past three years. See: http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/sudan/index.do
Aside from the horrific ongoing violence, people continue to die in massive numbers from malnutrition and disease. Senior U.N. officials say that violence in Darfur has escalated in recent months, forcing an additional 200,000 people to flee their homes since December. Additionally, Human Rights Watch reported last week that the Sudanese government has launched a new military offensive in South Darfur. To learn more see: http://www.hrw.org/doc?t=africa&c=darfur
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3127, the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006, by a vote of 416 to 3. The legislation is now before the Senate for consideration, and would impose sanctions against those responsible for the genocide in Darfur and call for international intervention.
Despite this, however, a major humanitarian crisis is continuing to unfold, endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and threatening to destabilize the region.
Please act now to stop the escalating crisis in Darfur and ensure that those displaced by the violence have access to adequate food, shelter and medical attention.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
Contact President Bush and your Congressional representatives to urge them to act today to stop the killing in Darfur. Contact information for the Administration and Members of Congress is provided below.
Additionally there is a campaign, organized by “Save Darfur,” to collect one million post cards from people across the world, urging those in power to take immediate action against the atrocities occurring in Sudan. See:
http://www.savedarfur.org/
POINTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR LETTER
1. Urge the Bush Administration to lead an international effort at the United Nations Security Council to halt the killings and rape, reverse the killing and displacement and ensure that those governmental and non-governmental actors responsible for atrocities in Darfur are held accountable.
2. Ask President Bush to speak publicly and forcefully against the situation in Sudan and put pressure on the Government of Sudan to ensure that relief agencies are able to inspect conditions and provide humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced and other civilian victims of the ongoing violence.
3. Encourage the President to introduce a resolution in the UNSC to deploy forces to Sudan under Chapter VII to protect and assist humanitarian convoys in delivering relief supplies and policing the refugee camps currently at the mercy of the Janjaweed militias.
President George W. Bush
president@whitehouse.gov
Tel: 202-456-1414
Fax: 202-456-2461
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Tel: 202-647-4000
There is no longer a direct email to reach Secretary Rice. However, you can contact Secretary Rice through an online form:
http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi-bin/state.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_sid=F5OZZa6i&p_lva=&p_sp=&p_li
Call your Senators and Representative today. Find your representative online at www.adc.org or call the Capitol Hill switchboard: 202-225-3121.
ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS
1. Human rights organizations estimate that Janjaweed militias backed by the Government of Sudan have killed more 180,000 people in Darfur since February 2003. During the same period, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees estimates that 2 million people have been internally displaced.
2. Survivors describe killings, torture and rapes committed by Janjaweed militias in plain view of Sudanese government forces. Janjaweed attacks have frequently been supported by the Sudanese air force, which has launched air raids indiscriminately on civilian targets, bombing villages and attacking them with helicopters.