Thursday, July 31, 2008

In Support of a UN Arms Embargo of Sudan

It is widely known in the international community that the United Nations ban on weapons to Darfur is ineffective. The various factions are still receiving shipments of heavy weapons, small arms, ammunition, and other military equipment into Sudan, where they are transported to Darfur. That is why it is essential that the Congress act now to extend the embargo to all of Sudan. It is essential that we exercise our strength as a country to do everything we can to stop the genocide.

A recent report by Amnesty International stated that a total arms embargo on Darfur will add diplomatic pressure for the embargo to be applied to Sudan as a whole. At the moment there is a limited ban which is intended to stop the supply of weapons from reaching various factions in Darfur, but this ban has been considered ineffective. After four years of warfare, the people of Sudan are suffering terribly from the affects of widespread civilian dislocation, famine and genocide. If the United States redirected even a small percentage of budgetary allocation they are spending on the war in Iraq, we could unilaterally prevent genocide.

As a world leader, the Congress of the United States and the Executive Branch have a responsibility to do their part to help prevent genocide. As signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the US has promised to respond with a concerted will to ensure that our planet never again witnesses the horror of genocide and that people everywhere have basic rights including the right to food, housing, clean water, an education and the right to live free of violence and intimidation.

Clearly the people of Sudan have been abandoned for the most part by the current administration. While Sudan is not considered to be important in terms of military strategy for empire building and control of global oil resources, the USA does claim to engage in military adventures overseas for the purpose of building democracy and ensuring the people living in the bondage of fear and terror deserve the opportunity to be free and make choices about their government. Sudan is clearly an international crisis, more so than Iraq but perhaps equal to the gravitas given to Afghanistan.

As a country which preaches democracy and human rights, it is time for the United States to take positive actions to ensure that genocide does not continue in Sudan. We have a responsibility to support international peace keeping efforts to end the war in Sudan and feed, clothe and house the hundreds of thousands of refugees which have been created by the ongoing crisis the region. The first step is to support a total embargo of Sudan to ensure that arms do not continue to fuel the ongoing violence between various factions in the region.

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