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Urgent Action Needed — Darfur

April 28, 2009

Millions of civilians deprived of aid by the Sudanese government

Nearly two months ago, the Sudanese government decided to expel 13 international humanitarian aid groups from working in and around Darfur.

These are the consequences:

According to a joint UN-Sudanese humanitarian assessment team, around May 1st we will see a sharp drop in the health and well-being of people living throughout the Darfur crisis region. Emergency food rations will run out. Clean water, an already rare commodity, will become even scarcer. And to top it off, a “rainy season” will render on-the-ground movement extremely difficult, escalating the risk of disease and danger to children and the elderly.

If Sudan’s leaders won’t step in to steer their country away from inevitable doom, then they will bear the blame for this new phase to the crisis in Darfur.

Urge UN and Sudanese Ambassadors to use their influence to press the government of Sudan to fully restore humanitarian aid in and around Darfur.
Children affected by the crisis in Darfur

Two weeks ago, in light of the looming May 1st deadline, U.S. Senator John Kerry traveled to meet with Sudan’s leaders on the heels of a separate visit made by the U.S. special envoy to the country. After speaking with senior Sudanese officials, Senator Kerry announced that Sudan would restore partial aid to devastated areas. He admitted that “a partial restoration of capacity is not sufficient,” but it is a step in the right direction.

May 1st is just days away, yet Sudan’s leaders have not confirmed their commitment to restore any aid. We are deeply concerned that Sudan may be trying to duck its responsibilities.

Senator Kerry’s visit may have been noteworthy for U.S. diplomacy in Sudan. But Sudan’s leaders will need to hear from those key groups and individuals they trust most before they will budge on this issue. That’s why we’ll have to convince the Sudanese Ambassador to the U.S. and the African Union and Arab League Ambassadors to the UN that restoring aid is the right thing to do. Please email the Ambassadors asking them to encourage Sudan to restore full aid in and around Darfur. And if you have an extra moment, please follow-up your email with a call, letter, or fax to their offices to guarantee that this message is heard loud and clear.

There’s no negotiating this May 1st deadline. If Sudan’s leaders don’t act now, masses of people will face starvation, thirst, and disease; a grim situation that could have easily been avoided.


Denise Bell
Darfur Campaign
Amnesty International USA



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