Today, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 4169). The bill works to create a comprehensive strategy towards ending atrocities and supporting peace in Sudan. Additional original co-sponsors include Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Brad Miller (D-NC), John Olver (D-MA), and Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX).
In a press release issued in response to the bill, United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews welcomed the “strong bipartisan legislation to address the blockade of food and humanitarian aid and the ongoing bombing of civilians.”
Watch Congressman Jim McGovern’s speech on the floor of the House of Representatives about the ongoing crisis in Sudan and the Sudan Peace, Sudan, and Accountability Act:
Why legislation is necessary
The legislation is in response to the atrocities being committed against civilians in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei by the Sudanese government, as well as the ongoing crisis in Darfur. Half a million people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are at risk of starvation beginning in March because Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – a war criminal wanted for genocide – is blockading food and humanitarian aid. The bombing attacks that Bashir started in July have prevented families from planting their crops. With no food and nothing to harvest, hundreds of thousands now face starvation.
What the legislation does
1. Creates a broad-reaching sanctions regime to target any government or person who support or assist in the commission of serious human rights violations including those who: provide any military equipment to the Government of Sudan; contribute $500,000 or more of goods or other support to the Government of Sudan or its proxies and which directly and significantly contribute to the commission of serious human rights violations; interfere with humanitarian aid; impede or threaten peace or stability in Sudan; or fail to execute international arrest warrants against Government of Sudan officials.
2. Addresses the current humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei, while continuing to assist in Darfur and other parts of Sudan; and
3. Requires the Administration and all relevant agencies to work together and create a comprehensive strategic plan focused on all of Sudan rather than only a particular region.
Stay tuned to learn how you can support this legislation to promote peace in Sudan.