05/28/2008 04:12 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

All Three U.S. Presidential Candidates Step Up for Darfur

But what the candidates don't say is this; It is past time that President Bush, who has called the atrocities in Darfur 'genocide' assumes desperately needed moral leadership. He should lead the UN Security Council in standing up to the Sudanese regime, which continues to place every possible obstacle in the path of an full and effective deployment of UNAMID, the peacekeeping operation agreed to last July. (UN Resolution 1769). He should urge other militarily capable nations to join the US in providing the essential infrastructure, training and logistical support for those African battalions who are in need of assistance.

In 2005 the Bush administration played an essential role in securing the now imperiled CPA and a fragile peace between the North and the embattle Southern Sudan. As the agreement crumbles and Sudan's north and south slide toward war, the US must re-engage and stand by that commitment as well as our responsibility to protect innocent civilians in the anguished Darfur region.

As the candidates point out, more than five years have passed since the Government of Sudan launched its campaign of destruction upon the defenseless people of the Darfur region. The world has watched hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians die.

I didn't know Sudan was the most powerful nation on earth. The international community needs to go 'spine shopping'.


Candidates pledge 'unstinting resolve' in ending Darfur genocide, Save Darfur Coalition hails historic joint statement on ending Sudan crisis


As we campaign for President of the United States over the next several months, we expect there to be significant focus on the many differences between us. After all, elections are about choices in a free society. We have had a spirited contest so far and fully expect a robust debate about issues foreign and domestic right up to Election Day.

As we engage in this process, we are fully aware that friend and foe around the globe are watching and sometimes reacting based on their own analysis of the latest developments in the campaign.

It is with this awareness that we are taking the uncommon step of issuing a joint statement about an issue.

After more than five years of genocide, the Sudanese government and its proxies continue to commit atrocities against civilians in Darfur. This is unacceptable to the American people and to the world community.

We deplore all violence against the people of Darfur. There can be no doubt that the Sudanese government is chiefly responsible for the violence and is able to end it. We condemn the Sudanese government's consistent efforts to undermine peace and security, including its repeated attacks against its own people and the multiple barriers it has put up to the swift and effective deployment of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force. We further condemn the Sudanese government's refusal to adhere to the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the conflict in southern Sudan.

Today, we wish to make clear to the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous importance, there is no divide between us. We stand united and demand that the genocide and violence in Darfur be brought to an end and that the CPA be fully implemented. Even as we campaign for the presidency, we will use our standing as Senators to press for the steps needed to ensure that the United States honors, in practice and in deed, its commitment to the cause of peace and protection of Darfur's innocent citizenry. We will continue to keep a close watch on events in Sudan and speak out for its marginalized peoples. It would be a huge mistake for the Khartoum regime to think that it will benefit by running out the clock on the Bush Administration. If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, we pledge that the next Administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve.