Yesterday, STAND Campers lobbied their representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 4169, the Sudan Peace and Accountability Act, which requires the Obama administration to create a comprehensive US strategy towards ending atrocities and creating peace in Sudan and South Sudan.
Even if you couldn’t be there, you can still add your voice to theirs by calling 1-800-GENOCIDE and asking your member of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 4169. The Act was introduced on March 8 by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Michael Capuano (D-MA), and has attracted significant bipartisan support.
You can find the full text of the bill here. According to a summary released by Representative McGovern’s office, the bill takes the following steps:
- Addresses the humanitarian crises in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei, while continuing to assist in Darfur and other parts of Sudan.
- Supports the UN-imposed ban on offensive military flights over Darfur, and extends that ban to include South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei.
- Creates a broad-reaching sanctions to target any government or person who supports or engages in serious human rights violations in Sudan, including those who:
- Provide military equipment to the Government of Sudan
- Contribute $500,000 or more of goods or other support to the Government of Sudan or its proxies that directly and significantly contribute to the commission of serious human rights violations
- Interfere with humanitarian aid
- Impede or threaten peace and stability in Sudan
- Fail to execute international arrest warrants against Government of Sudan officials
As defined in the Act, sanctions can include any of the following:
- Withdrawal of U.S. development assistance
- Withdrawal of U.S. security assistance
- Withholding exports of goods or technology
- Voting against international and/or US loans to the person or government responsible for violating this act
- Suspending, or canceling at least one official meeting or contact between the US and the sanctioned government or individual
- Denial of a visa to enter the U.S.
Perhaps most significantly, the Act extends sanctions contained in the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act of 2004 and Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 to apply to human rights violations committed anywhere in Sudan. Previously, those sanctions only applied to individuals and organizations responsible for atrocities in Darfur; this provision will ensure that they now apply to those responsible for atrocities in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei as well.