The Darfur Consortium

. . .

Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

June 5, 2023

Associated Press: Obama Says Nations Must Stop Genocide. President Barack Obama says the international community has an obligation to stop genocide, even when it's inconvenient. Obama on Friday was asked how the Holocaust mantra of ''never again'' might apply to current crises in the Darfur region of Sudan or in Sri Lanka, where the government is accused of shelling hospitals during a quarter-century civil war. Obama replied that it is up to other nations to take action to stop genocide. He says his administration is working to end the genocide in Sudan, where Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir expelled humanitarian workers from the country.

Boston Globe: US reaction to Obama speech. Domestic reaction to President Obama's Cairo speech is filtering in, and given its sweep and ambition, the reviews are decidedly mixed. Activists on the humanitarian crisis and conflict in Darfur -- which the US State Department has labeled a genocide -- said that Obama's "failure to call for a joint push for peace in Sudan is a glaring omission." Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition, added, "President Obama missed an important opportunity in his Cairo speech to the Muslim world by not reiterating his commitment to lead for peace in Sudan, where 2.7 million Muslim civilians have been driven from their homes and hundreds of thousands have perished because of violence orchestrated by the government. President Obama could have asked all governments in the region to join him in offering a choice to Khartoum between concrete progress toward peace, which will result in improved relations, or continued obstructionism and use of violence, which will lead to increased isolation."

Los Angeles Times: Sudan's government welcomes 'new attitude' from the U.S. When President Obama called the slaughter of innocents in any part of the world to be a "stain on our collective conscience," one of the examples he cited was the violence unleashed in Darfur by the Islamic-led government of Sudan. Yet instead of bristling at the mention of Darfur, Sudan's government greeted Obama's speech as a sign that relations with America can improve. Sudan's relations with the U.S. have been strained since now-President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir seized power in 1989 and installed an Islamic republic. The regime has been accused by the U.S. and others of brutally repressing two rebellions, one by Christian and non-Muslim rebels in the south, and more recently by insurgents in the western region of Darfur. Despite a recent International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued against Bashir for his role in the Darfur crackdown, U.S. officials have launched a low-profile effort to improve ties with the regime. Obama's new envoy to Sudan recently called the country a "friend," and Sudanese officials said today they expect to visit Washington later this month for peace talks.

National Journal: Congress Presses Obama On African Conflicts. President Obama promised to take a hard line on genocide and other war crimes during the campaign, but since then he has been slow to tackle some of Africa's most intractable conflicts, leaving many activists impatient and Congress calling for more action. And sure enough, the administration features some heavy hitters from the anti-genocide community, like Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide and now an adviser on the National Security Council, and Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice. Five representatives publicly chided the president in March for not having appointed a special envoy on Sudan. A week later, Obama tapped former Air Force Major Gen. Scott Gration for the post. "There's a critical need for the administration to articulate what their strategy is on Sudan," [Save Darfur Coalition President Jerry] Fowler said. "[For Obama,] just using his voice would be of huge importance."

The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition. To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].

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