Congressmen and Human Rights Champions Jim McGovern and Frank Wolf Introduce New Sudan Bill

Posted by Annie Callaway

Today, U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced legislation that calls for a comprehensive approach to end serious human rights abuses and promote democratic transformation in Sudan.

The Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012, H.R. 4169, requires the Obama administration to (1) create a comprehensive strategy focused on all of Sudan; (2) address the current humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei, while continuing to assist in Darfur and other parts of Sudan; (3) increase engagement with other stakeholders who have influence over the Sudanese government, like China; (4) create a broad based sanctions regime to target governments and individuals who support or assist the Sudanese government in the commission of serious human rights abuses; and (5) create benchmarks for the removal of sanctions on Khartoum for ending attacks against its own people and work for peace and democracy.

The bill comes at a critical moment: With a humanitarian crisis rapidly unfolding in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, continued unrest in Darfur and Abyei, and instability widespread throughout the country, immediate attention that addresses both the dire fallout and the root causes of these issues is essential.

In remarks in the House of Representatives yesterday, McGovern explained the urgency of the need for new legislation:

The introduction of the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012 is a fitting tribute to Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), a staunch champion of human rights and social justice. Congressman Payne, who passed away this week, fought his entire career for the people of Sudan. This legislation builds on the legacy he so passionately established. 

In addition to Congressmen McGovern and Wolf, the legislation’s original co-sponsors include Mike Capuano (D-MA), Brad Miller (D-NC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX).

Next week United to End Genocide and the Enough Project will lead events in hundreds of communities across the country to raise awareness about these issues and to bring an end to Sudan’s “weapons of mass starvation.” The week-long campaign will culminate in a national day of action on March 16th.

Please contact your Member of Congress and urge him or her to co-sponsor the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012.