I want to share some important news from Khartoum. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson just released a joint statement with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir that, if implemented, would bring some immediate security and relief to the people of Darfur as well as provide a clear path forward to long-term peace in the region.
We asked Governor Richardson to travel to Sudan to discuss ways to secure peace in Darfur and to end the genocide. The Governor was accompanied by Save Darfur Senior International Coordinator Ambassador (ret.) Lawrence Rossin, Refugees International Executive Director Kenneth Bacon, and Public and International Law and Policy Group senior attorney Amjad Atallah. Since Sunday, when they arrived in Khartoum, Governor Richardson and the delegation have visited Darfur and participated in a variety of meetings with government officials, rebel leaders, humanitarian officials, AU commanders and UN officials.
The promises from President Bashir in this agreement are encouraging. They include commitments to:
- A 60-day ceasefire with an international peace summit to be held before March 15, 2007.
- Sudan's cooperation to work with the African Union and United Nations on the deployment of a hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur.
- Ensuring "zero tolerance" policies for gender-based violence in Darfur.
- Free access for humanitarian aid workers and journalists.
Click here to read the full joint statement and the press release.
Your concerns for the people of Darfur were voiced directly to President Bashir by Governor Richardson and Ambassador Rossin. We believe that today's agreement offers a promising step forward to end this four-year nightmare for the people of Darfur. By no means, however, has the genocide ended.
We call urgently upon Sudan, the United Nations, the African Union, and the Bush Administration to make these promises become a reality for the long-suffering people of Darfur.
We must demand that the international community take advantage of this dramatic progress. Your help in this effort will be vital in the months ahead.
Thank you for your contribution to these new developments.
Save Darfur Coalition