Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, February 1, 2005
For IMMEDIATE Release
Hyde Questions Findings of UN Commission of Inquiry on Darfur
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House
International Relations Committee, today rejected the assertion by a UN
Commission of Inquiry that atrocities committed in the Darfur region of western
Sudan do not, in fact, constitute genocide:
I am deeply disappointed by the Commission’s decision to engage in semantics and shirk in its responsibility to the people of Darfur. The bold and unprecedented decision by Congress and the Bush Administration to make a determination of genocide last summer was one not taken lightly. The gravity of the situation and the preponderance of evidence before us, however, left us with little option.
The scorched earth tactics employed by the Sudanese Government and its proxy forces – including indiscriminant attacks on civilians, aerial bombardment, mass rape, plunder, and the destruction of critical infrastructure, particularly the poisoning of wells – leaves little doubt about their intentions.
While apologists for the Sudanese Government have wasted months debating at the United Nations over whether or not the senseless murder of over 70,000 people and forcible displacement of hundreds of thousands of others constitutes genocide, the situation is deteriorating.
The UN Security Council must act decisively and impose sanctions against the Sudanese Government without further delay. If other Members of the Security Council feel obliged to exercise their veto power in an effort to block sanctions, then so be it. Allow those Members to explain how and why their commercial interests outweigh international obligations to prevent acts of genocide.
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