Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 8, 2006

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Hyde Legislation to Sanction Perpetrators
of Genocide in Darfur Reported by HIRC

Full House Vote on Hyde Bill is Next Step
 

(WASHINGTON) - Following eight months of intense bipartisan negotiations, the House Committee on International Relations today passed H.R. 3127, the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act. 

Committee Chairman and lead sponsor of the bill, U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), said,  “This is an important milestone which could not have occurred without the leadership and dedication of a bipartisan group of members, all of whom were asked to make difficult compromises in the interest of confronting genocide in Darfur.  With anywhere between 180,000 and 400,000 Darfurians already dead, and attacks against civilians and African Union peacekeepers increasing almost daily, the time for debate is over.  The time to act on this urgent legislation is now.”

Hyde said he would recommend that the House leadership schedule an urgent floor vote on the legislation.

Hyde said the purpose of the Act is twofold: To promote peace in Darfur and to punish the perpetrators of genocide.  To advance peace, the bill grants authority to the President to provide assistance to support the deployment and operations of an expanded African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) with the mandate, size, strength and capacity to protect civilians and humanitarian operations and stabilize Darfur.  Additionally, the legislation urges the United Nations, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to immediately mobilize appropriate resources to support the expansion of AMIS.

            To promote accountability, H.R. 3127 imposes targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity in Darfur.  The bill also prohibits the provision of non-humanitarian U.S. assistance to nations violating the military and arms embargo imposed pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions 1556 and 1591, calls for the suspension of Sudan’s membership in the United Nations, and encourages President Bush to deny entry at U.S. ports to certain Sudanese cargo ships or oil tankers if the Government of Sudan fails to take specified measures relating to Darfur.   

            H.R. 3127 also seeks to address several broader United States policy concerns with regard to Sudan.  For example, the amended bill requires that certain restrictions previously imposed against Sudan shall not be lifted until the President certifies to Congress that the Government of Sudan is acting in good faith to: (1) peacefully resolve the crisis in Darfur; (2) disarm, demobilize and demilitarize the Janjaweed; (3) adhere to UN Security Council Resolutions; (4) negotiate a resolution to the crisis in eastern Sudan; (5) cooperate with efforts to disarm and deny safe haven to the Lord’s Resistance Army; and (6) fully implement the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  The bill also amends the International Malaria Control Act, thereby enabling the United States Government to continue providing assistance to Southern Sudan and other marginalized areas.  Finally, the amended bill provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt State laws which prohibit investment of State pension funds in Sudan.

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