Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 467) declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan, as amended.
The Clerk read as follows:
Whereas Article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (signed at Paris on December 9, 1948) states that ``the Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish''; Whereas Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide declares that ``in the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group''; Whereas Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide affirms that ``[the] following acts shall be punishable: (a) genocide; (b) conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) attempt to committed genocide; and (e) complicit in genocide''; Whereas in Darfur, Sudan, an estimated 30,000 innocent civilians have been brutally murdered, more than 130,000 people have been forced from their homes and have fled to neighboring Chad, and more than 1,000,000 people have been internally displaced; and Whereas in March 2004 the United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator stated: ``[T]he war in Darfur started off in a small way last year but it has progressively gotten worse. A predominant feature of this is that the brunt is being borne by civilians. This includes vulnerable women and children . . . The violence in Darfur appears to be particularly directed at a specific group based on their ethnic identity and appears to be systemized.'': Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress-- (1) declares that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan, are genocide; (2) reminds the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (signed at Paris on December 9, 1948), particularly the Government of Sudan, of their legal obligations under the Convention; (3) declares that the Government of Sudan, as a Contracting Party, has violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; (4) deplores the failure of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to take appropriate action with respect to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, particularly the failure by the Commission to support United States-sponsored efforts to strongly condemn gross human rights violations committed in Darfur, and calls upon the United Nations and the United Nations Secretary General to assert leadership by calling the atrocities being committed in Darfur by their rightful name: ``genocide''; (5) calls on the member states of the United Nations, particularly member states from the African Union, the Arab League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to undertake measures to prevent the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, from escalating further, including the imposition of targeted means against those responsible for the atrocities; (6) urges the Administration to call the atrocities being committed in Darfur, Sudan, by their rightful name: ``genocide''; (7) commends the Administration's leadership in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, and in addressing the ensuing humanitarian crisis, including the visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell to Darfur in June 2004 to engage directly in efforts to end the genocide, and the provision of nearly $140,000,000 to date in bilateral humanitarian assistance through the United States Agency for International Development; (8) commends the President for appointing former Senator John Danforth as Envoy for Peace in Sudan on September 6, 2001, and further commends the appointment of Senator Danforth as United States Ambassador to the United Nations; (9) calls on the Administration to continue to lead an international effort to stop genocide in Darfur, Sudan; (10) urges the Administration to seriously consider multilateral or even unilateral intervention to stop genocide in Darfur, Sudan, should the United Nations Security Council fail to act; (11) calls on the Administration to impose targeted means, including visa bans and the freezing of assets, against officials and other individuals of the Government of Sudan, as well as Janjaweed militia commanders, who are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, Sudan; and (12) calls on the United States Agency for International Development to establish a Darfur Resettlement, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Fund so that those individuals driven off their land may return and begin to rebuild their communities.
Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo).
Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the concurrent resolution under consideration.
Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Colorado?
There was no objection.
Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I stand before Members tonight to urge their support for House Concurrent Resolution 467 which declares genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan.
Unfortunately, there is no one among us who is unfamiliar with the word ``genocide.'' Several of us have been personally affected by genocide. The mere mention of the word evokes the horrific images of the gas chambers of the Holocaust, the killing fields of Cambodia, the mass graves of Srebrenica, and the bloodied streets of Rwanda. The atrocities committed in these areas were heinous and must not be belittled by casual usage of the word ``genocide,'' but I assure Members the decision to bring this resolution to the floor and to make such a declaration has been anything but casual.
Out of a preconflict population of 6.5 million in Darfur, an estimated 30,000 people have been killed, another 300,000 face certain death in the coming months. Up to 1 million have been internally displaced, and 130,000 others have been forced to flee to neighboring Chad. Remember that this is happening in a country that has undergone the most horrific civil war for over 25 years, where 2 million people have died and 4 million people have been displaced. Against that backdrop, we now have Darfur.
Reports by refugees, internally displaced persons, and the United Nations officials detail a systematic pattern of attacks against civilians by government-supported militias who employ scorched earth tactics, murder, rape and pillage with impunity. These attacks have been conducted in a deliberate, sequenced, and systematic fashion, and according to a recent report by the International Crisis Group, ``have led to the depopulation of entire areas inhabited by the Fur, Zaghawa, Massaleit and other small groups of black African origin.''
I believe, and this resolution affirms, that these atrocities meet the definition of genocide as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed in Paris on December 9, 1948.
The manager's amendment before you does nothing to alter the purpose of the underlying resolution. The changes in the preamble are strictly technical and perfecting. The changes in the Resolved Clauses include clarifications in the new text which, one, make it clear that the Government of Sudan has violated the convention, and the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide; two, call for specific actions by member states of the United Nations; and three, recognize the leadership of the administration in seeking a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
On April 7, 2004, the same day that world leaders were gathered in Kigali to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeared before the U.N. Commission on Human Rights stating that reports of ethnic cleansing from Darfur had left him with a ``deep sense of foreboding,'' and called for decisive action. We are still waiting to see what decisive action the United Nations will take.
I am particularly disappointed in the inaction of a few recalcitrant members of the African Union, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Conference, who seem comfortable with sitting back while tens of thousands of their African and Muslim brothers die. To this end, the manager's amendment deplores the failure of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to condemn the gross violations of human rights which have taken place in Darfur, and calls on the United Nations and the U.N. Secretary-General to assert their leadership by calling the atrocities by their rightful name, genocide.
It also calls on members of the United Nations, particularly the member states from the African Union, the Arab League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to undertake effective measures to stop the genocide in Darfur.
The manager's amendment also includes language which commends the robust response of the administration. This administration has taken the lead in attempting to resolve this crisis and deserves credit for their efforts. However, it is important to note that the protection of human rights and the prevention of genocide are not the responsibility of a few; they are the responsibility of us all. The United States cannot do this alone. The United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the Arab League and others must step up now if we hope to prevent this genocide from escalating.
True to form, Josef Stalin once callously remarked, ``One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.'' Given his propensity for mass murder, this remark comes as no surprise. I submit, however, that those who have died, those who face death, and those who have lost their homes in Darfur are not mere statistics. To really know this tragedy is to think about the murder of the little boy and girl whose corpses lie in the sand, to imagine their last moments of stark terror, and to consider this brutal act repeated 30,000-fold.
Mr. Speaker, the resolution before you tonight is the product of a truly collaborative effort and enjoys bipartisan support. If we are going to attempt to solve this problem, we must first understand that which confronts us in its totality. The first step is to acknowledge that we are dealing with genocide. The next step is to take action to stop the atrocities. Let us not look back 10 years from now, wishing we had done more, saying what we have heard said oftentimes on this floor and in halls around the world about Rwanda, ``I wish we would have done more. I wish we would have taken action.''
We do not want to be in that position again. This is the time. This is the opportunity we have to take those steps, to take that action. This is not a political issue as evidenced by the fact that there is broad bipartisan support. This is an issue of morality. It calls upon every single one of us in this room and on this planet to search our own hearts and souls and to think about what it is we can do individually to stop this tragedy. It is a calling. It is a moral calling on us all.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume and I rise in strong support of this resolution. First I would like to thank my good friend and distinguished colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) for introducing this critically important resolution and for his leadership on issues affecting the entire African continent.
Mr. Speaker, Congress has the opportunity to take a historic step today, to send a message to the entire world that we will no longer deal with genocide in hindsight. Instead, we will denounce it when we see it, we will take effective steps to stop it, and we will hold those who commit genocide responsible for their monstrous actions. Today we face one of the most tragic situations on the planet, the crisis in Darfur, Western Sudan. The Sudanese government has planned, organized, and carried out unspeakable atrocities against native black African men, women, and children with the deliberate intent to engage in mass murder. Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide says: ``Any act committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group is genocide.''
Mr. Speaker, exactly what is the case for declaring the crime of genocide against the Khartoum government and its Arab surrogates? They have killed tens of thousands of individuals based solely on their African identity. They have caused serious bodily and mental harm to over 130,000 people, dislocated from Darfur into horrendous temporary camps in neighboring Chad. They have created over 1 million internally displaced persons, destroyed their homes and livelihood, and left them in uninhabitable and remote areas without food, medicine, and shelter.
These actions were taken specifically to bring about their physical destruction through starvation, exposure, and disease. Khartoum has deliberately and masterfully frustrated efforts to bring humanitarian relief by the international community while conducting a vicious campaign of terror against the men, women, and children of Darfur. Finally, Mr. Speaker, they have targeted men and boys for killing and used rape as a weapon of war against the women and girls of Darfur.
These actions have gone on far too long. But those of us who months ago were crying out for some sort of action by the international community have had reason in recent weeks to take some heart. Both our own government and the United Nations have started taking steps to intervene in this horrendous situation. I want to commend Secretary of State Colin Powell for his recent visit to Darfur and his efforts to stop Khartoum's genocidal efforts in their tracks. I also want to commend my friend U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his recent trip to Darfur where he too brought attention to the atrocities and demanded the Sudanese authorities stop the human destruction and protect the people of Darfur.
It is incumbent upon us to support an intervention protection force that will stop the killing and protect citizens, humanitarian relief workers and international monitors. We must work closely with the African Union and the United Nations to bring peacekeeping forces and diplomatic authority to change Khartoum's evil and monstrous policies. Africa and the international community cannot stand by while black Africans are deliberately killed because of who they are. This historic action today by our Congress will signal to the world that we will no longer deal with genocide in hindsight, but we will denounce it when we see it and hold those who commit genocide responsible for their evil actions.
Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Franks).
I thank the gentleman from Colorado for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I stand tonight with these distinguished Members in support of House Concurrent Resolution 467, declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan. To date an estimated 30,000 civilians have been murdered, more than 130,000 have been forced from their homes and have fled to neighboring Chad, and more than 1 million people have been internally displaced. If the international community fails to act, what awaits these people is a terrible season of prolonged suffering and painful death. Even now, mothers who have traveled miles fleeing their husbands' murderers are watching their children starve. They are helpless to end the violence. We are not. We must act. We cannot wait until thousands more have died.
Mr. Speaker, the good news is that we can prevent the loss of life. There is a way that our actions can matter. We have seen the faces of women holding their emaciated babies to their chest with tears streaming down their faces, and we have seen the photos of burned-out villages. What is reflected in the eyes of these women is at once utter relief at having found the camp and unimaginable grief in the tragic and needless losses they have endured. Some of them bear the physical scars of beatings and branding, but many more of them bear the emotional scars of brutal rape by the evil Janjaweed militias.
Mr. Speaker, even in the camps, the people are not safe from harm. The people in this crisis make an impossible decision every day. They have to decide whether to send the old men and boys for firewood fearing that they will be killed, or whether to send the women and girls for firewood fearing that they will be raped. Mr. Speaker, this horrifying choice is unacceptable. America and the world must demand that humanitarian aid workers have access to these suffering souls in order to bring them the food that they need, and further that credible peacekeepers enter Sudan in order to provide the critical and desperately needed security so that their lives, their future is not further marred by the horrible choices they were forced to make in order to survive.
Mr. Speaker, the people of Darfur should have a future. We must pass House Concurrent Resolution 467. Anything less would be a disgraceful failure before the eyes of God and humanity. Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, before yielding, I would like to ask my colleague from Colorado if he would accommodate us by yielding some of his time to us because we have a number of distinguished colleagues who wish to speak on this issue.
I would be happy to do so. I cannot do it right now because we have at least one other colleague who is on his way and I do not know how much; but whatever time we can yield, we will do so.
I appreciate the gentleman's accommodation.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 4 minutes to my good friend from New Jersey (Mr. Payne), the author of this important resolution.
(Mr. PAYNE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, let me commend our leaders in the Committee on International Relations, Chairman Hyde and Ranking Member Lantos, for their tireless work in bringing this historic resolution declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan to the floor. Many people have held back on using the word ``genocide'' out of fear that it is really a declaration that they try to step around, but I really am so proud that this House of Representatives is standing up and calling it like it is. As my colleague from Colorado said, it is genocide. Let me just say that this would have been impossible without the Tancredos and the Wolfs and the Royces on the other side and fighters on our side such as the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky) and all of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and our dean, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).
This is something that we did not do 10 years ago when genocide was happening in Rwanda. We looked the other way. But we are not going to look the other way in 2004. We must also impress upon the world community, the AU, the EU, the Islamic Front, all of the groups, that they must come together and that they must declare and work towards having civility return to Sudan.
But I want to remind the Congress that although we need to act now in Darfur, that once the crisis is under control, we cannot rest on our laurels and fool ourselves that this type of thing will not happen again. Let me just remind the Speaker that this same government gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden from 1991 to 1996, allowing him to build his terror network worldwide. In fact, I would argue that al Qaeda was conceived and created in Sudan in the 1990s. Other terrorist acts are also linked to the current officials still sitting in Sudan that have not even been questioned.
It is important to recall that the government of Sudan's involvement in international terrorism goes back a decade. The Sudanese government was directly involved in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. The mastermind of the 1993 bombing, Sheikh Abdel Rahman, who was sentenced to life in 1995, received his visa from the same Khartoum government. He was a guest of senior Sudanese government officials several weeks before that happened at that time. Of the 15 men indicted for this terror act, five were Sudanese nationalists. These Sudanese nationalists had strong ties with Sudanese diplomats stationed right here in New York at the Sudan Embassy at the United Nations.
In 1995, members of an Egyptian terrorist group tried to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt when he was attending a meeting in Ethiopia at the OAU summit. The 11-man assassination team had been given safe haven in Sudan to prepare for the mission to kill the Egyptian president. The weapons used in the assassination attempt were reportedly flown into Ethiopia on Sudan Airways. The passports used by the assassins were also prepared in Khartoum, according to a United Nations report.
The point of listing all of this is to show a pattern. This is a regime that does not care about human lives and to think that they will stop at Darfur, we are fooling ourselves. We must begin to get serious about our dealings with the government of Sudan. No more coddling them because they have oil or because they have links to Islamic countries, no more allowing the African Union to give excuses, no more allowing the EU saying, What are we doing here?
We must act now. We must continue the pressure. I urge my colleagues to support H. Con. Res. 467, declaring genocide in Darfur.
I want to thank my friend for his powerful statement.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer), a distinguished member of the Committee on International Relations.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in permitting me to speak on this resolution, and I appreciate the gentleman from New Jersey bringing it forward.
I think it is important that we are stepping forward to call what is happening in this troubled country by what it is, genocide. As has been referenced, we have already lost over 30,000 people. The best estimate is that we are looking at a third of a million people if everything goes right, and sadly, the path that we are on today is a million or more.
I hope that this will be an important first step for us to acknowledge, as the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) put forth, that this is different than when we stood by 10 years ago in Rwanda or a dozen years ago in Bosnia; or sadly, the United States was not forthcoming a generation ago in Europe during World War II. But I think that experience has chastened us and, I hope, has sensitized us; and I hope the language that is put forward here is just the beginning. By all means, call it by what it is. By all means, move forward with the United Nations.
But I would hope that when we think of having spent $200 billion in round numbers in Iraq for actually a threat that has proven to be far less, that we can put forward the same sort of energy and interest in uniting the world community in making sure that we implement the extreme diplomacy that is necessary, that we use the power of this country from military to diplomacy to the moral suasion that we are capable of to make sure that we tip the balance and move it in the right direction.
I commend all my colleagues that are here this evening, late in the evening, for sharing their concerns and trying to craft a bipartisan approach. But I hope that this is but one of many steps of this nature to highlight, and that we will continue to spotlight and speak for as long as we are faced with this problem. We cannot ignore it, to let it slip away.
Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf).
(Mr. WOLF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Concurrent Resolution 467, declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
I want to commend the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) for introducing this important legislation. I want to personally thank the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde) and his staff and the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) for ensuring that this resolution reached the floor in an expedited manner. I want to also thank the leadership for allowing this to come up so quickly.
I also want to thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and their staffs for their continued focus on Darfur. I am proud that this resolution has the support of so many Members standing side by side for the people of Darfur.
Mr. Speaker, I first stood on the floor of the House last March to highlight the situation in Darfur and to call the world's attention to the ongoing slaughter of innocent civilians. At that time, thousands were dead and predictions of more death were certain; and since then the world has finally awakened to what is occurring. Articles have been written, protesters arrested, newspapers have carried the story on the front pages. Now we all know, all the world now knows what is occurring in Darfur, and we must act to stop it. Failure to do so will cost more lives.
Unfortunately, the situation worsens on a daily basis. An estimate of 1,000 lives are now being lost every day. The situation has escalated to the point that I can now firmly say that I believe that genocide is taking place, and we all have a responsibility and a duty to the people of Darfur to try to stop it in its tracks.
I went to Darfur with Senator Brownback. We met the people. We heard their stories. I listened to the women tell us who had been raped over and over. The people of Darfur are suffering.
Historically, in past cases, the world has been slow to act when faced with genocide, but today it is different. Today we stand here in the House, the people's body, staring genocide in the face. And today we know what is occurring and we are not afraid to call it what it is, genocide. The international community now has a moral and a legal obligation to stop what is occurring and bring those responsible to justice.
I want to commend the United States for taking the lead to help end the crisis. Secretary Powell, I want to thank him and Secretary-General Annan. They are to be commended for going to Darfur. I also want to commend the United States Agency for International Development and the team which has people on the ground.
The United States must continue to speak out, and I am proud tonight that for the first time when genocide is taking place, the people's House is speaking out. Every other time the resolutions took place after it was over and all the people were dead.
I want to thank the Members on this side and the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) for all his efforts from way, way back, and all of them over there and the Members on this side. This is very important to speak out for the voiceless, those who have no voice.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee), my friend and neighbor.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today because, as we speak, genocide is occurring in Darfur in the western Sudan.
And let me just thank our ranking member, the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), for his sense of outrage and morality on this issue, as well as the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) for his consistent work to expose the atrocities as genocide.
Also, let me just recognize and thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) for his efforts as our ranking member of the Subcommittee on Africa for always keeping African issues at the front of our congressional legislative agenda. For so many years he has been sounding the alarm, and finally tonight we are here. So I just want to thank him for his constant sounding of the alarm for this and for the people of the Sudan.
The murders, the rape, and the scorched-earth campaign in Darfur is genocide. We call it what it is by supporting this resolution.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Africa, there has been no evidence presented to indicate that this is not genocide. It is. It has been 10 years, Mr. Speaker, and the international community, particularly the United States, must learn from the Rwandan tragedy. Like Rwanda, the warning signs in Darfur were obvious. But we did nothing, and now the international community is watching once again as millions of Black Africans are wiped out of western Sudan.
The Bush administration has raised concerns and the United Nations has denounced the ``ethnic cleansing'' executed by militias supported by the Khartoum government, but this is beyond ethnic cleansing. This is systematic and calculated genocide. Hundreds of thousands are fleeing Darfur, fearing that they will become yet another statistic in a malicious plan to rape, torture, and ultimately wipe out all Blacks in the southwest region of Sudan.
As in other conflicts designed deliberately to humiliate and eliminate people because of their identity, we have seen women and girls targeted for rape in Darfur. How can we allow this travesty to continue and not be outraged?
The inaction of this administration I think is unconscionable, especially when we consider that one word, one word, ``genocide,'' can make the difference between humanitarian assistance and international justice for Darfurians.
Let us pass this resolution.
Why would the Bush Administration argue over the definition of genocide, while murderers, rapists, the janjaweed, and the Khartoum government have the blood of the Darfur people on their hands?
The government of Sudan is not our partner in peace.
Our sense of morality requires us to do everything possible to stop this carnage. This bipartisan resolution will help save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi), our distinguished Democratic leader, an indefatigable champion of human rights across the globe.
Mr. Speaker, I thank our distinguished ranking member for yielding me this time and for his leadership on this very important issue.
In the very short time allotted to me, I want to commend my colleagues for being so vocal on this issue at this time and, frankly, for a very long time. I have said before when we had another resolution, an earlier resolution, on the floor that there is no Member of Congress that I hold in higher esteem than the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) for his work on human rights throughout the world. And he has been a leader on this issue, visiting over the years, warning America, warning the world of the impending disaster that was there in one form or another over time.
And the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) has taken the lead in the Committee on International Relations on this important issue, and it has not been because Members of Congress, especially the Congressional Black Caucus in the Congress, have not blown the whistle, have not sounded the alarm, have not called the public's attention to what is happening there.
And the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), of course, as the cochair of the Human Rights Caucus, has been singing this song for a very long time. Why do people not listen?
When the tragedy occurred in Rwanda, everyone was embarrassed, sad, and contrite and said that it was not going to happen again. Never again could we ignore all of God's children being destroyed by each other and sit back and watch it happen to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people.
We have now been told that 30,000 people will die in the Sudan, and if we do not act, then hundreds of thousands more will die. How can we tolerate this? How can we call ourselves persons who care about every person living on the face of the Earth and not care about each and every one of these children and their parents and their families in the Sudan?
The issue today is one that we have discussed before. Is it ethnic cleansing or is it genocide? And if it is genocide, then it should provoke a reaction from all of the countries of the world who consider themselves civilized and respectful of human rights and, quite frankly, those of us and I know the motivation of the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) and some of our other colleagues on both sides of the aisle in this regard springs from our belief that all of these people are God's children, worthy of respect.
The Bible tells us that to minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship; to ignore God's creation, which are these children, is to dishonor the God who made them. Right now, the world is dishonoring God. We are not committing acts of worship; we are committing acts of negligence.
It is genocide, and the perpetrators of this genocide sit with impunity in Khartoum and say they are engaged in all of this as a matter of self-defense. Is it self-defense to rape women five, six times over again so that they cannot even go home to their husbands in a society which finds that unforgiveable on the part of the woman? Is it self-defense to have children starve because food cannot get through?
Seeing the pictures of those children challenges the conscience of the world, and yet we are having a debate on semantics in the world. But not in this House. In this House we know it, we call it for what it is.
As the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee) said, a calculated, focused, intended elimination of these people; and that very clearly spells out what the definition of genocide is and how what is happening in the Sudan meets that standard and therefore should invoke certain actions by the rest of the world. We all believe very strongly that something has to be done. But in light of what we said after Rwanda, we are considered hypocritical or inconsistent or just with very poor memory if we do not act upon this now. We must all answer for the genocide that is happening in the Sudan.
So I commend my colleagues for their tremendous leadership. The gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne), the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), the Black Caucus, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf), and others have worked so hard on this for such a long time. The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Jackson) was just there last weekend and brings back personal stories of what he saw. So I thank them. Any one of us who wants something to happen there is deeply in their debt, as are the people of the Sudan. We must make a difference on this. I thank them for taking these steps to do so.
Mr. Speaker, I thank our distinguished Democratic leader for her passionate and powerful appeal.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), distinguished ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.
(Mr. CONYERS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, this is the proudest moment in the 108th Congress and maybe even going all the way back to the anti-apartheid resolution, the sanctions that were passed against South Africa.
In the midst of the intense partisanship that has informed nearly every issue that has come to the Congress, somehow the Members on both sides of the aisle have come together in the most remarkable way. I cannot explain it. I am humbled by it.
But I rise to say only this, that this is only the first step, Mr. Speaker, because we have a long way to go now. Thank goodness that we got this resolution in, which is easy to predict that it will succeed. But we have the distinguished other body, we have to engage the administration of this country, we have to go to the United Nations and to the Security Council before anything begins to happen. So I know all of us will join and continue this struggle.
I lift up the name, in addition to all of us, of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert); the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde); and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Chairman Sensenbrenner), who have made all of this possible tonight.
Just two weeks ago, my colleague from Virginia, Congressman Frank Wolf, and I convened a bipartisan meeting of Members to develop an action plan to address the catastrophic loss of life that is occurring in Darfur, Sudan. We all agreed that the first critical step was to raise the voices of the U.S. Congress in a call to action by declaring unequivocally that what is happening in Sudan is genocide.
In my 39 years in the House of Representatives, I have never seen such incredible bipartisan, bicameral cooperation. And in an election year no less, with a highly polarized electorate. But the reason is simple. The tragedy in Sudan is not a Democrat or Republican issue; its not a Muslim or Christian issue; its not only an issue of race. Genocide is a human issue. When genocide occurs, we must all stand up and act with determination to end the systematic effort to exterminate a people. These are the lessons of the Holocaust, of Cambodia, and most recently, of Rwanda.
In Rwanda, we shrugged our shoulders and waited until eight hundred thousand (800,000) people were killed, before we identified that event as a genocide. In 1948, the United Nations put forth the Convention Against Genocide and the United States and many other nations signed on to that convention, agreeing to prevent genocide wherever and whenever it happens. Our nation has taken an important role in this crisis--negotiating a settlement to the war, providing the bulk of the humanitarian aid, increasing the pressure on the Sudanese government.
Now--before it is too late to save the one million lives at risk of death--now, we must rally our allies and the U.N. Security Council to take action. Now is the time to authorize multilateral troops. Now the world must send a clear message that genocide will no longer be tolerated, anywhere.
If we can come together in this Congress on such an urgent human issue, I believe that we can bring together our friends in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America to address this genocide in the Security Council. That effort is our moral imperative.
Passage of this historic resolution is the first time this body has declared a humanitarian or political crisis to be genocide. This would not have been possible without the efforts of my Republican colleagues--Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Chairman of the International Relations Committee, Henry Hyde (R-IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Cass Ballenger (R-NC), Chairman of the Africa Subcommittee Ed Royce (R-CA), Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO).
My fellow Democrats played a critical role in moving this resolution to the floor, including--Congressman Tom Lantos, Ranking Member of the International Relations Committee, Congressman Donald Payne, Ranking Member of the Africa Subcommittee (D-NJ) and the sponsor of this resolution, the many Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, under the leadership of Congresman Elijah Cummings (D-MD).
And we must thank our friends in the Senate--Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) for their passionate, diligent work and cooperation on this issue.
While I congratulate you all, I hope that the real victory will go to the people of Sudan. This vote is an important step to saving lives. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Hose and Senate, the Administration and the United Nations to continue this important effort to stop this genocide.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 2 minutes to my good friend and neighbor, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters).
Mr. Speaker, I am so proud of the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde); the ranking member, gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos); the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne); the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers); the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo); the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf); the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky); and all of those on both sides of the aisle who have been working so hard to bring this genocide to the attention of our own government and to the world. We have people who are working very hard to get something done.
My heart is heavy this evening because it has taken us much too long. I know that the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) did give a word of thanks to Colin Powell and Kofi Annan for making the trip and for urging the Khartoum government to cooperate and stop the genocide. But I say to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), we have to ask Colin Powell and Kofi Annan and the President of the United States to get tougher. They have got to get tougher. We are watching genocide take place.
I am pleased about this resolution. Genocide has taken place in this world far too many times, genocide that could have been stopped if good people just took a little tougher action.
We have watched genocide time and time again, in most recent of times, Rwanda. This does not have to continue. Over 30,000 people have died; 1 million people stand to die as I stand here today.
So it is time to act and act now. We must first recognize that the Khartoum government is part of the problem. They keep making promises, but they lie. The minute they say they are going to cooperate, we turn our backs, they are supporting the Janjaweed. They are indeed a part of the problem. We must act, we must act now, and we must be tough. We can stop this genocide.
Tonight, we define it for what it is with this resolution. Thank you, I say to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne). It is genocide. Let the word go forth, and it must be stopped.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 5\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) and ask unanimous consent that he be allowed to control said time.
Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Colorado?
There was no objection.
Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that an additional 10 minutes to each side be devoted to discussing this all-important issue.
Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?
There was no objection.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 2 minutes to my friend and colleague, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
(Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, I too want to add my recognition, more than appreciation, but my recognition for the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde) and the ranking member, the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), who never turn their back on the issues of human rights. The gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne), who was right continuously as he, I would like to say, plugged ahead on being persistent in dealing with this question of Sudan and the direction that we should take in this Congress. The gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and, of course, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), who has had a series of meetings that we have been participating in over a number of weeks.
Let me suggest to you that this should be a night of action. The vote on this resolution is in fact a statement that is long overdue. I might refer you to the language of this resolution and its first resolve, and that is that we declare that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan, are genocide.
Let me cite to you Amnesty International, which indicates the horror that is happening in West Darfur: ``I was sleeping when the attack started. I was taken away by the attackers. They were all in uniforms. They took dozens of other girls. They made us walk for 3 hours. During the day, we were beaten and they were telling us, you the black woman, we will exterminate you. You will have no God. All night we were raped several times.''
I do not want to bring back the horrors of life that we led as slaves in this country. I simply want to say many of us have had these experiences, and when I say that, historically.
It is important for this Nation now to stand up, and I would appreciate as this resolution is passed and passed in the Senate, that our government now will stand and join us and say that genocide is occurring in Sudan.
Yes, the government did offer a 10-point manifesto. I received it. They said they were willing to deal with the Janjaweed. They were willing to disarm them. They were willing to give humanitarian aid.
Well, let me tell my colleagues, I took that piece of paper, but they did nothing. There are human rights violations going on, there are rapes, there are abductions, there are destruction of villages and property.
I would simply say this resolution lays out the road map. We declare tonight that genocide is occurring in Sudan, and I would ask the President of the United States to so declare so that we can move forward and protect lives. Let not another Rwanda occur. We are in fact our brothers' and sisters' keepers.
I rise in support of this resolution. I commend my colleague Mr. Payne for his foresight and courage to put forward his bold resolution, when many in the Congress were hesitant. I also commend the Chairman and Ranking Member, Congressmen Hyde and Lantos for their leadership, in recognizing the crisis unfolding in Sudan and moving rapidly to bring this resolution to the floor before the recess.
As it moved so efficiently toward the Floor of the House, I know compromises were made on specific phrases and statements. Although I do not agree with every line, I firmly support the resolution. It is time that this Congress sends a strong message to Sudan and the world, that the United States is ready to move boldly to stop the death and destruction in Darfur.
It truly is time for an aggressive American and international response to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. For the past year and a half, ethnic-African communities have been under strategic attack by the Arab-based Government of Sudan based in Khartoum and the Janjaweed militias. The most recent campaign, fueled by vicious ethnic rivalries and the Janjaweed's desire for territorial expansion, is having devastating results. 30,000 people have already been killed by systematic raids and deadly famine, and up to 1 million more are expected to suffer the same fate if the United States, the United Nations, and other international leaders continue to take the same dangerously passive role in addressing the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed militia forces. We must move aggressively to stop the bloodshed and suffering.
Over the past weeks, my colleague from Michigan John Conyers, has been bringing together a growing bipartisan and bicameral group of Members of Congress committed to moving aggressively toward creating peace in Sudan. I was pleased to be a part of that group. As we discussed the situation and learned from Senator Brownback and Congressman Wolf about their recent trip to Sudan, where they saw the ravages of the violence and the ongoing rape, intimidation and terrorization of the ethnic African people, it became obvious that indeed we were seeing genocide.
Formally labeling a situation as genocide, should trigger actions and commitments that will protect potential victims, and punish perpetrators of this war crime. We will need a strong collaborative effort between the legislative and executive branches, to put the force of the U.S. government to work to help the people of Darfur.
We must be committed to pushing through normal election-year political barriers, and working together to save lives. This will only be possible if the executive and legislative branches of our government work in concert, to increase humanitarian relief, to galvanize international support and coordination, and explore all possible options to end the bloodshed in Darfur. We have a small window of opportunity to help the men, women, and children in mortal peril in Sudan. Ongoing Janjaweed violence combined with the upcoming rainy season, may soon make relief impossible. If ever there were a case for swift action to liberate a suffering people, it is now in Darfur.
A group of thirty of us in the House, from both sides of the aisle, sent a letter yesterday to President Bush, asking him to meet with us, to discuss how we can work together, put politics aside, and move swiftly to rescue the people of Darfur. I hope the President will heed our call to meet, to push for a stronger U.N. resolution that acknowledges that this is genocide in Darfur, and to gather and lead a true multi-lateral coalition to help make peace and then keep peace in Darfur as necessary.
As we look toward forging that multi-lateral coalition, I must say that I am concerned that the tone of parts of this resolution may not be helpful in reaching out to the partners that we will ultimately need in Sudan. I think using the word ``deplore'' in referring to the failure of the Human Rights Commission to act appropriately in Darfur, is unnecessary. Just as we are putting aside politics to work together to save lives, I hope we can put aside our international grudges in order to better lead an international collaboration. I am not arguing whether each statement is true or false, just questioning whether it each is helpful in achieving the result we are hoping for in Sudan. We are still trying to undo the damage done by some of our rhetoric in the march to war in Iraq. I hope we do not repeat that error. We should reserve such language for our enemies, rather than casting it at our potential friends.
Regardless, the most important part of this resolution is acknowledging that this indeed is genocide in Sudan, and agreeing that it is time that the United States and the international community start dealing with Sudan and the Janjaweed as such. I am pleased that this action is being taken. I hope we can continue to work together so effectively as we shape the actions of this nation to save lives in Darfur in the days to come.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 2 minutes to my good friend and distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis).
(Mr. DAVIS of Illinois asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, I want to commend all of those who have shown leadership on this issue.
I have been told that the only way that evil can triumph is that good people do nothing. I believe it was Dante who suggested that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who declare neutrality and do nothing in times of great moral crisis. We have all heard the atrocities that are continuously being heaped upon the people in the Sudan. It is time for us to act, and to act convincingly.
We have to ask ourselves the question, if not us, then who? If not now, then when?
I commend the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) and all of those who have demonstrated great leadership on this issue.
We are here tonight to sound the alarm, once again, on genocide in Sudan. There is no room for neutrality in the face of the crimes being committed there each day.
Amnesty International has renewed its charge that the international community is not doing enough to protect women in the Darfur region and the refugee camps in Chad where mass rape is being used as a weapon.
Since 1983, more than two million Black civilians have died during the Civil War in the south of Sudan. That struggle was especially brutal for the civilian population: slave raids resulting in the enslavement of women and children, gang rape, ethnic cleansing, and the imposition of famine conditions for hundreds of thousands.
On October 21, 2002, the President signed the Sudan Peace Act which stated, in part:
``The acts of the Government of Sudan constitute genocide as defined by the [United Nations] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948).''
That bill requires President Bush to certify, every six months, that the government in Khartoum is negotiating in good faith for an end to that Civil War. According to some sources, we may be close to a framework for peace in that region.
On May 12th The New York Times carried this report:
``A team of U.S. diplomats led by Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Charles Snyder is on its way to Kenya to help put the final touches on an agreement to end Sudan's 21-year civil war, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday.''
However, at the same time, Khartoum has launched a massive ethnic cleansing of Black Africans in Darfur, in the western region of Sudan. The same article in the New York Times reported:
``He said Snyder also would discuss with Sudanese officials the situation in the western Darfur region where human rights groups charge the Khartoum government and allied Arab militia are carrying out a campaign of `ethnic cleansing' against Black African tribes, forcing some 1 million people to flee their homes.''
Human Rights Watch and investigators for the United Nations have documented widespread ethnic cleansing and have characterized the situation there as ``crimes against humanity.'' More than 100,000 have fled the region and are now refugees in neighboring Chad.
As the seasonal rains begin to set in, it is becoming more and more difficult to move refugees to relative safety and to provide even minimal subsistence. Malnutrition is at acute levels in the camps especially among children.
So, while our diplomats expressed their ``grave concern'' to the UN Human Rights Commission response to the murder, rape and forced removals in western Sudan, the President gave his certification that Khartoum was negotiating in ``good faith'' to end the decades old struggle in the south.
If the President had chosen to withhold that certification, it would have instituted a program of significant economic sanction against Sudan.
How, one might ask, can the government of Sudan negotiate in ``good faith'' to end genocide in one region, and openly engage in genocide in another region?
And how, it is reasonable to ask, can our own government accept the notion of negotiating in ``good faith'' in one region of the Sudan, while conducting a ruthless genocide in another?
Mr. Speaker, only a short time ago we paused here to mark the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. More than 800,000 died while the world watched, and did nothing. Once again genocide is unfolding before us. Those who have taken note have expressed their horror at what they have seen. But where is the public outcry? Where are the front page pictures? Where is the response of our government on behalf of the American people?
The ominous sign is that our government is willing to turn its eyes away from genocide in the West of the Sudan in favor of resuming oil production in the oil rich Southern region.
The genocide in the South was characterized by both racial and religious differences. The genocide in the Western region pits Muslim against Muslim but retains the racial character of the genocide in the South.
In the name of fighting terrorism we have begun a campaign under the rubric of the Global Peace Operations. Even though President Bush has not formally announced the initiative, U.S. troops are now active from Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden to the Atlantic including Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Niger.
The question we now confront is this: is the slaughter of hundreds of thousands, even millions of Africans, terrorism? If our struggle against terrorism is truly global, can we be truly engaged in a global war on terrorism, and not engage genocide in Africa?
Mr. Speaker, funding for State Department programs in Africa such as the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program and the Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capacities have languished for years.
If we are to engage in a new anti-terrorism initiative in Africa, I would hope the President would consult with the Congress and with the Congressional Black Caucus as to how the struggle against terrorism will be shaped so as to protect the people of Africa as well as the peoples of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Mr. Speaker, on June 24 the U.S. Holocaust Museum here in Washington took the dramatic step of closing access to its main exhibitions to call attention to the horror underway in Darfur.
Around that same time U.N. Secretary General Koffi Annan and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell paid a visit to the western Sudan. Secretary Powell expressed his deep concern over what he saw with his own eyes as an humanitarian crisis. But he failed to place the events in the Sudan in their proper historical context: the world is once again facing the onslaught of genocide.
When asked, Secretary Powell, speaking on behalf of this administration, was asked if this was genocide responded, ``Let's not put a label on things.''
Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that is exactly what we need to do. Our failure to acknowledge genocide in the Sudan led directly to the abdication of the G-8 leaders in their responsibilities to intervene to save the lives of tens of thousands of African men, women and children as called for by the International Genocide Convention.
Mr. Speaker, if America cannot remember the great lessons of history, cannot confront genocide, or if we do not count the deaths of tens of thousands of Africans as genocide then the days ahead are sure to be some of the saddest and most difficult we have ever confronted.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to my friend, the distinguished gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Jackson).
(Mr. JACKSON of Illinois asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
Mr. Speaker, in 1994, the U.S., along with rest of the world, stood and watched as 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered in Rwanda. In April of this year, the world community marked the 10th year of the modern-day genocide in Rwanda and said never again.
Today, we are in danger of failing to honor that commitment, and this resolution goes a long way to ensuring that the United States will play a profound role in stopping the genocide.
The Darfur region of western Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is engulfed in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Since 2003, the Sudanese government and their murderous Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, have waged a deliberate and systematic campaign of rape, of torture, of starvation and murder of innocent Darfurian civilians.
If genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, then the deliberate killings of tens of thousands of black Sudanese happening right now certainly qualifies. The U.S. Government must call it genocide. The term ``genocide'' not only captures the fundamental characteristics of the Khartoum government's intent and actions in western Sudan, but it also invokes clear international obligations, and that is why this resolution is so important.
Mr. Speaker, on the ground, we are trying our best to get aid to the Darfurians during the rainy season. U.S. Administrator Natsios from USAID said that even if we are successful, 300,000 Darfurians will lose their lives; and if we do not act immediately, 1 million Darfurians are sure to lose their lives or be at risk.
The answer, Mr. Speaker, beyond the declaration of genocide, is to ensure that the AU, that the various Arab governments in the region, along with the United States, provide immediate military relief so that aid can get to Darfurians immediately. The United States Government has 2,000 troops in Jabudi; 2,000 troops. They are the closest troops, the closest opportunity that we have, to ensure that the Janjaweed are disarmed, so that aid workers can get aid to the people in Darfur.
So beyond the declaration of genocide, we must move to provide the security for the Darfurians and keep the Janjaweed from continuing their murderous efforts in Darfur.
Mr. Speaker, as parties to the Genocide Convention, all permanent members of the UN Security Council and more than 130 countries worldwide, are bound to prevent, stop and punish the perpetrators of genocide--a unique crime against humanity in international law.
The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Article II describes two elements of the crime of genocide. A crime must include both elements to be called ``genocide'':
1. the mental element, meaning the ``intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such'', and
2. the physical element, which includes: Killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Since 1993, the Sudanese government and their militia have implemented a reign of terror in Darfur. An estimated 30,000, have been killed in the last year. More than one million black Sudanese have been forced from their homes. The attackers have raped civilians and destroyed their villages. They have destroyed the crops, livestock and farms upon which the region's people depend. They have poisoned their water supply. They have launched systematic and indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground attacks on unarmed civilians. They have deliberately blocked humanitarian assistance to the region.
If the Sudanese government continues its brutality, or the international community fails to adequately intervene, as many as 1 million more Darfurians are at-risk of dying of starvation and disease.
In the words of one New York Times columnist, if the people of Sudan ``. . . aren't victims of genocide, then the word has no meaning.''
Mr. Speaker, there is a genocide taking place in Sudan and we must stop it. We call on the Administration to immediately lead an international effort to stop the death and destruction in Darfur.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Hoeffel), a member of the Committee on International Relations.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time and applaud his leadership on this issue.
I am honored to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle tonight to declare that the ethnic cleansing occurring in the Sudan is in fact genocide, to demand that the world recognize that it is genocide, and to urge the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary action to stop the violence and to get humanitarian aid to Darfur Province immediately. There is not a moment to lose. We must act now.
I would also urge my colleagues to consider the additional step of joining the protest that has been under way at the Sudanese embassy for the past 3 or 4 weeks and to consider whether an act of civil disobedience in furtherance of the declaration of genocide and in furtherance of immediate humanitarian aid to Darfur Province would be appropriate to be taken and whether it would meet your standards. Because the world is watching what we do. We failed to act when tragedy struck Rwanda. We cannot fail to act again.
I would add to the excellent congressional resolution of the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) and the fine work of all my colleagues the necessity to take individual acts of civil disobedience, to protest the unresponsive Sudanese government that is unleashing this terror, this genocide, on innocent civilians, failing to admit what they are doing, and not allowing humanitarian assistance to come to the aid of these innocent millions of people.
The time to act is now. There is not a moment to lose.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 2 minutes to my good friend and neighbor, the distinguished gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren).
Mr. Speaker, we know the leaders of this effort. They have been mentioned with great gratitude, the chairman of the committee and ranking member, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) and others.
But I would like to talk about really the extraordinary experience I have had in the last several weeks with members not on the Committee on International Relations, but who came together to say we need to do something about this disaster in the Sudan.
We have a very partisan situation here in the House of Representatives, but participating in these meetings were the most conservative and the least conservative Members, and everybody in between. And although we do not agree on a lot, we agree on this: the world cannot stand by while genocide is committed in the Sudan.
We need to lead an international effort to stop the violence. We need to make sure that we participate in the humanitarian aid that is necessary. We worked together to make sure that this resolution could be supported, could be heard today, and that we take this first step. We agree we need to call it for what it is: genocide.
I am proud to be a Member of this House this evening and to be a part of the great American tradition of all Members of the House of Representatives working together for the good of the world and for what is good and just and right with our conscience.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), our distinguished colleague and my good friend.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support H. Con. Res. 467. We have a moral and ethical responsibility to stand up today and declare the situation in Darfur genocide. At the very time that an historic peace was being brokered to settle the north-south civil war in the Sudan, the Sudanese Government was financing and arming a Muslim Arab militia, the Janjaweed, who used those funds and arms to terrorize the Muslim, but not Arab, population of Darfur. Recently, humanitarian groups have uncovered documents which showed the Sudanese Government supplied the militia with soldiers who were promised government impunity.
By aligning with the government, the Janjaweed has managed to avoid widespread condemnation. Whether by direct slaughter or starvation, the Janjaweed will have caused the death of 300,000 people by the end of this year without effective counteraction.
Sudanese leaders have restricted international media access to Darfur, thus allowing the Janjaweed to carry out their scorched earth tactics undeterred. While crops are destroyed and villages are razed, the non-Arab Muslim population has been forced to abandon the countryside which sustained them and gather in internment camps near the large towns to live in squalor, or flee to refugee camps in neighboring Chad, which is too poor to provide assistance.
Survivors of the Janjaweed's campaign paint a horrifying picture. Women and girls are systematically raped and left to die, and thousands are marched to their deaths, while the Sudanese Government denies the survivors humanitarian aid, shelter, drinking water, and food. The Sudanese Government is culpable in crimes against humanity in Darfur.
With this resolution, Congress declares genocide in Sudan and demands that the Sudanese Government, the United Nations, and all concerned stop the genocide in Darfur before the crisis there worsens and engulfs the entire region in conflict.
I urge Members to support the legislation. Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to my good friend, the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky), our distinguished colleague.
Mr. Speaker, my heartfelt gratitude to all of those who made it possible to bring this bipartisan resolution to the floor tonight, and particularly to my colleague, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne), who has long toiled to make this evening happen and this resolution happen.
Some issues transcend the regular business of this House, the important business of policymaking, and transcend partisan politics, and move into the realm of moral imperative.
The genocide that is occurring at this moment in the Sudan, the murder and the rape of women and girls, even little girls at this moment, is one of those moral imperatives. And if we in this most powerful nation on Earth fail to act when our actions could prevent much, even if not all of the loss of life, then we share in the blame.
I stand here tonight not only as a Member of Congress, but as a Jew and as a grandmother. Each year in the Capitol Rotunda, there is a solemn and inspiring ceremony to mark the Holocaust, the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Third Reich, and one of the themes of that event is never again. But it did happen again, and the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) listed the scenes of genocide since World War II, and now in the Sudan. And this House and the other body and the administration have a choice to make: Do we or do we not act to stop it?
Every day that we delay, a minimum of 1,000 people die. We have to make a choice tonight. Before we leave this body for 6 weeks, we need to make a choice. And as a grandmother, I do not want to look into the eyes of my grandchildren who say to me, Grandma, you were here when thousands of people died. What did you do to stop it? I want to be able to say, I did help to stop it. We all need to make that choice.
This resolution is so important, but it is just a first step. The other body needs to act. This administration needs to act. We need to call it what it is and we need to proceed to stop it.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff).
(Mr. SCHIFF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, 57 years ago, nations stunned by the Nazi systematic acts of genocide declared, ``Never again.'' Ten years ago, confronted with the death toll of the Rwandan genocide, leaders of the same nations again declared, ``Never again.'' Today, tens of thousands of women, men, and children have been murdered and hundreds of thousands continue to suffer. Today, again, people are being targeted and killed because of their ethnic identity only 1,000 miles north of Rwanda in Darfur, Sudan.
Mr. Speaker, 800,000 innocent people lost their lives in Rwanda. We hesitated, and nearly a million people died for our hesitation. On the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide this April, world leaders again expressed their determination to prevent future humanitarian catastrophes. Tragically, only a few short months later, we find ourselves standing by again, unwilling to take the necessary steps to end the crisis in Darfur. Ten years ago, we failed the people of Rwanda. We must not fail again.
I join my colleagues in calling upon the administration to apply sustained pressure on the government in Khartoum. I call upon the President to speak out against the atrocities in Darfur, to use both economic and political leverage. Every day we delay, every day we think, every day we consider the best course of action and the most appropriate definition for the crisis is another day innocent people are being killed, tortured, and watching their families lose their lives.
International cooperation and support of the United Nations is essential, but the most direct path to limiting the threat is increased pressure from the United States. Experience has shown that we must not delay in classifying the loss of life in Darfur as genocide. Otherwise, by the time we have prepared our definitions, it will be too late. The facts on the ground and in the ground will have removed all doubt, and we will be left to murmur, without confidence or conviction, ``Never again.''
Mr. Speaker, 57 years ago, nations stunned by the Nazi's systematic acts of genocide declared ``Never Again''. Ten years ago, confronted with the death toll of the Rwandan genocide, leaders of the same nations again declared ``Never Again''. Today, tens of thousands of women, men, and children have been murdered and hundreds of thousands continue to suffer. Today, again, people are being targeted and killed because of their ethnic identity, only 1,000 miles north of Rwanda in Darfur, Sudan.
Eight hundred thousand innocent people were murdered in Rwanda. We hesitated and nearly 1 million people died for our hesitation. On the 10-year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide this April, world leaders expressed their determination to prevent future humanitarian catastrophes. Tragically, only a few short months later, we find ourselves standing by again, unwilling to take the necessary steps to end the crisis in Darfur. Ten years ago, we failed the people of Rwanda. We must not fail again. Ten years ago we were preoccupied with our mission in Bosnia, Somalia was fresh in our minds, and we were wary of getting involved in Rwanda. Today we are preoccupied with the aftermath of the conflict in Iraq and, again, we are wary of committing American resources to end the bloodshed in Sudan.
As we have hesitated, some 30,000 people have already been murdered in Darfur and another million have been displaced from their villages and farms. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are caged in concentration camps where women are systematically raped and men are killed for scavenging food. Government-sponsored Arab militias continue to systematically terrorize the African Muslim inhabitants of the region--destroying villages, raping and murdering civilians, and poisoning precious wells with the bodies of the dead. Although the administration has taken some important first steps to confront the crimes being committed in Darfur, much remains to be done.
The administration has rightly called for humanitarian access to the region and for the deployment of international cease-fire monitors. The administration has denounced the atrocities in Darfur. Still, a catastrophe of these proportions requires a deeper commitment to action; we must treat the problems at the root of this crisis. The thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes and land must be given safe and voluntary passage to return. More cease-fire monitors must be deployed to the region. The government in Khartoum must be persuaded to stop blocking international humanitarian assistance to the 2.2 million people of Darfur in desperate need of food and medicine. President Al-Bashir must be required to control the Janjaweed militiamen who, even now, continue their campaign of terror against the innocent people of Darfur. It is intolerable that these militias have not yet been disarmed and demobilized.
I join my colleagues in calling upon the administration to apply sustained pressure on the government in Khartoum. I call upon the President to speak out against the atrocities in Darfur and to use both economic and political leverage to elicit cooperation from the Sudanese government. Every day that we delay, every day that we think, every day that we consider the best course of action and the appropriate definition for the crisis in Darfur is another day that innocent people are being killed, are being tortured, and are watching their families being killed and tortured before their very eyes.
International cooperation and support from the United Nations will be essential to the long-term resolution of the Sudanese situation. Yet the most direct path to eliminating the threat to African Muslims in Darfur is increased pressure from the United States. Experience has shown us that we must not delay in classifying the loss of life in Darfur as genocide--otherwise, by the time we have prepared our definitions, it will be too late--the facts on the ground, and in the ground, will have removed all doubt. And we will be left to murmur without confidence or conviction--never again.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 1 minute to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. McDermott).
(Mr. McDERMOTT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, I cannot forget the event in the Kigali Airport when I traveled with President Clinton to Rwanda and he spoke to Rwandans and apologized for our failure to act.
There was a woman sitting there who had lost all of her family in front of her eyes. There was a priest there who had his arm cut off. There were people sitting there that the President acknowledged as people that the United States did not act to save.
We have that same opportunity. We have it. It is in our hands. We have the capacity, and we must exercise our solemn duty to humanity for justice for everyone.
No one on this floor, no one in this building should ever want to sit in a meeting like that again and say, we are really sorry; we knew it was going on, but we did not do anything. We must act.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush).
(Mr. RUSH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. Speaker, I am here this evening because of this resolution. I cannot think of another resolution, another matter before this body in the last few months or years that is more important than this resolution, the Payne resolution.
Mr. Speaker, we have at this time an opportunity to stand up for justice and to stand up for peace and to stand up for what is right. We have an opportunity at this time to stop the genocide that is occurring in the Sudan. And, Mr. Speaker, now is the time when we must take action as a body. It is on us. We have had the horrible experience of witnessing and apologizing indeed for the Rwandan holocaust, and now we are faced here 10 years later with something similar going on in the Sudan.
Mr. Speaker, we cannot afford to allow this genocide that is occurring in the Sudan to continue. We must rise up to the occasion. We must forget about those partisan things that divide us. We must come together as a body, as a Congress, indeed, as a nation; and we must show the world the way to eliminate the kind of racial and religious hatred that exists in this world. We must rise up and show the example.
The future of this nation, the future of this world is at stake, because if we allow genocide to occur in the Sudan, if we do not do anything about it, then, Mr. Speaker, genocide will occur in almost any place throughout this world.
We have an opportunity and we have an obligation. Let us not fail the people of the world.
Mr. Speaker, I yield the remaining time to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the distinguished Democratic whip and indefatigable fighter for human rights across the globe.
The gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer) is recognized for 30 seconds.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo), my friend, for yielding me this time, and I thank the ranking member for yielding me this time.
I thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne) for acting. We are acting too late, but it is never too late to do the right thing.
We live in a new world, a world in which it is impossible to say that we do not know, that we have not seen, that we have not heard. Because we live in such a world, to remain silent and inactive is an immoral act; it is an act of indifference and negligence that condemns us as human beings.
The Second World War and the Holocaust have been referenced, the Holocaust appropriately so, because that was an act of eliminating a people because of the fact that they existed. This is an act of trying to eliminate a people, not because they are aggressors, not because they are a danger, but because they exist.
It is incumbent upon not just the United States, but on all the world to act when it is confronted with genocide. It is an act of self-preservation for us to recognize what is being done and to act, for if we do not, we will not live in either a safe or a civilized international community.
Very frankly, we watched in the past decade a genocide occur in Bosnia and Kosovo, and we interviewed some blue helmets who were there on the ground and reported back that, yes, they had seen atrocities committed, but their assignment there was to report, not to act.
The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis) mentioned Dante's reference to those who maintain their neutrality in the face of moral outrage.
This is an important act we take, but it is not enough, because words will not save those children. Words alone will not protect those women from assault and ravage. Words will not feed those people. Words will not prevent the death; but words hopefully will be the beginning of action, a call to morality, a call to civilization, a call to the international community to live out the promises that it included in the United Nations charter, with hope of a new and better and safer and more moral world. That is what this resolution is about.
I thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne). I thank him for his commitment, his leadership, and his steadfastness. I urge all of my colleagues, all of us, everyone, Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, north, east, south and west, to affirm this commitment, this definition, this call to action, this call to a moral world.
Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos).
Mr. Speaker, this is a noble moment for this body, but it is only a first step. There is a built-in mechanism ready to go to save the people of Darfur, and I call on NATO to use its capabilities to deploy the necessary troops to save the people of Darfur. There is no nobler goal for NATO, which was designed to protect human life, to do so now in west Sudan.
I want to thank all of my colleagues for their contribution. This is a noble moment for the House of Representatives. I urge all of my colleagues to vote for this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I want to just simply thank a couple of people who have worked tirelessly on this, staff people. One is Joan Condon, the Committee on International Relations professional staff, for her tireless work on this important issue. And of course someone on my staff is Molly Miller, who has been dedicated to this issue and was recently in Sudan and has a heart for this issue. I want to thank all of my colleagues for their brilliant words this evening and their heartfelt commitment to this wonderful goal.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 467 which declares that genocidal acts are occurring in Darfur, Sudan and are directed at the indigenous Muslim population by the Muslim government in Khartoum and in conjunction with the Janjaweed militia.
The situation in Sudan is dire. The statistics are alarming and depressing. The numbers of casualities, deaths, rapes, injuries and displaced refugees beg the question, how can the world, the U.N., the United States and other civilized nations witness the murder of 30,000 innocent civilians, the forced removal of 130,000 people from their homes to Chad, and the displacement of more than one million people and do nothing.
In Sudan, we are witnessing a crisis that can be stemmed by proactive international leadership, but that leadership must include decisive action. The action necessary include using every measure possible to get the government of Sudan to allow more African Union military advisors into the country to monitor events. The leadership necessary requires our government to do everything possible to isolate the current government in Khartoum as a pariah in the international community, including: implementing a travel ban on senior Sudanese officials, establishing an embargo on all arms, freezing all government assets and the assets of affiliated organizations for the Sudanese government until such time as it modifies its behavior, and begins to feed and protect the civilian Sudanese population. And finally, we must strive to ensure that food, medicine, clothing and peacekeepers are delivered to the Darfur region of Sudan before the rainy season descends upon the weak, defenseless and despairing masses in Sudan.
We must send the message to the Sudanese government and to the Sudanese people that the inhumane acts undertaken by Muslims against other ethnic African Muslims is deplorable and disgraceful. The religion of Islam which is predicated on values of peace and tolerance is being tainted and shamed by a minority segment of the government that sanctions genocide and denies it is occurring. I rise in strong support of this resolution and encourage my colleagues to stand up for the people of Darfur, Sudan and to challenge and shame the government of Sudan into taking appropriate action to rectify an ever expanding tragedy.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Con. Res. 467, which calls the current situation in Sudan by its proper name: genocide.
Throughout years of civil war, the government in Khartoum and its militia sympathizers slaughtered tens of thousands of people in Southern Sudan and enslaved many others. Over the past two decades, it is estimated that more than two million people have died from war related causes and famine. Now violence has escalated in the Darfur region of the Western Sudan, where government-sponsored militias have been ruthlessly targeting various ethnic groups. More than 30,000 civilians have already been brutally murdered and approximately one million civilians have been forced to flee their homes and are now either internally dispatched or seeking refuge in neighboring Chad. These numbers cannot capture the horror of daily life in Sudan where violence, death and disease run rampant and young men cannot go outside the refugee camps for fear of being killed. Any woman or girl who dares to leave in search of food or water instantly becomes a target for rape or murder. With each passing day, more and more people are suffering and dying. The United States must act swiftly to end this genocide and punish those responsible for these heinous crimes against humanity.
By considering this resolution, we are taking the first step in what will be a long road to ending years of violence in Sudan. The President, the Secretary of State, the U.N. and the international community must all declare this genocide and offer all assistance possible to end the atrocities occurring in Sudan. It is my hope that the international community will come together and send a multi-national force to Sudan to provide security and to help with the delivery of humanitarian aid. If the world community is unwilling to do so or cannot do so in a timely manner then I believe the U.S. should send a force of its own to Sudan.
Although I was an ardent opponent of the war with Iraq, I do believe that in certain instances unilateral force is both necessary and justified. This is undoubtedly one of those times. Tens of thousands of people have already died and thousands more will perish if we stand by and do nothing. If the world remains silent in the face of genocide, then America alone must act. The America that I know and believe in is a moral leader in the world and taking the leading role in bringing an end to genocide in Sudan will save thousands of lives and move us closer to fulfilling our true destiny.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the sponsor of this resolution, Mr. Payne, as well as Chairman Hyde of the Committee on International Relations, and all of the members who have worked to bring H. Con. Res. 467 to the floor. I think it's very important that Congress act on this resolution before the August recess. Tonight the House of Representatives will go on record declaring the atrocities being committed in the Darfur region of Sudan to be ``genocide.'' H. Con. Res. 467 is a statement for the world, and a stark warning to the Sudanese government.
We've heard about the atrocities government-backed militias are perpetrating in Darfur. This resolution cites an estimated 30,000 innocent civilians brutally murdered, more than 130,000 people fleeing to neighboring Chad, and more than one million people internally displaced. The Africa Subcommittee that I chair has held several hearings on Sudan. We've heard about the human suffering. We have also heard about how this killing is targeted and systematic. Villages are razed, crops are burned, and wells are poisoned. I fully support this resolution's determination that genocide is occurring in Sudan, as it played out in Rwanda ten years ago.
Those doing the killing need to understand that the world is changing. We have international courts to hold human rights criminals accountable. Information is being collected. The days of impunity are ending. That is a message that this resolution sends.
H. Con. Res. 467 deplores the failure of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to take appropriate action on Darfur. Earlier this year, the Commission failed to support a United States led effort to strongly condemn gross human rights violations in Darfur. Others just don't care. The administration has taken the lead in seeking an end to the slaughter in Darfur, and addressing the humanitarian crisis there. Why do we seem to care about Darfur more than African governments? We desperately need African engagement, and outrage, on Darfur. It is Africans who are being slaughtered.
Indeed, the administration deserves much credit for achieving a north-south peace accord in Sudan. It has played a very good hand with the cards it was dealt. Congress has been supportive of these negotiations, including with the Sudan Peace Act. But now we have a genocide in the west of Sudan--in Darfur.
Peace isn't divisible in Sudan. It's a cliche, but in Darfur, Khartoum is showing its true colors. Today, that government is hearing loud and clear that there will be no U.S. aid or improved relations, no support for the peace process, as long as the killing continues in Darfur. Maybe that matters to Khartoum; to be honest, maybe it doesn't, which is a possibility we need to prepare for. That is why H. Con. Res. 467 urges the administration to seriously consider multilateral or even unilateral intervention to stop the genocide should the United Nations Security Council fail to act. I don't think it needs this urging.
The suffering in Darfur is moving the American people. There's an awakening to the horror being afflicted there. Tonight, the House of Representatives is amplifying these concerns for the world.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 467, as amended.
The question was taken.
In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of those present have voted in the affirmative.
Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
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