This past week an event took place that has not happened since the days of World War II when each of the candidates joined in a letter in 1944 stating they would end the war. Each of the presidential candidates this year signed onto a joint letter stating if they were elected they would fight the evil that is taking place in Darfur. That evil is named genocide.
The matter is one that I feel passionately about, and know that President Bush and much of the world has sadly dropped the ball on this matter. But there seems to be growing awareness that the Sudanese government must not be allowed to continue their horrible policies.
“Today, we wish to make clear to the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous importance, there is no divide between us,” declared a joint statement to be released on Wednesday by the Save Darfur Coalition on behalf of Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama. “If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as president on Jan. 20, 2009, we pledge that the next administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve.”
At least 200,000 people have been killed there since the Arab-dominated government of Sudan unleashed tribal militias known as the janjaweed on non-Arab rebel groups and civilians. The Sudanese government says that the death toll in Darfur has been exaggerated and denies that the killing there amounts to genocide, as President Bush has said.
The president of the Save Darfur Coalition, Jerry Fowler, said the joint statement from the presidential candidates should serve as a warning to Mr. Bashir’s government. “The tangible piece will be on Jan. 20, 2009,” Mr. Fowler said, “when whichever one of these candidates wins the presidency and makes Darfur a Day 1 issue.”