Darfur Crisis: Act Now

Urge Congress to appropriate at least $50 million to protect the people of Darfur A Congressional Senate-House
Urge Congress to appropriate at least $50 million to protect the people of Darfur A Congressional Senate-House
A Congressional Senate-Houseconference committee will soon decide on the final spending amounts for the 2006 Foreign Operations appropriations bill. Each house of Congress has passed its own version of this legislation, which contain different spending figures. Now they need to jointly agree on the final amount. The Senate bill included $50 million to support the African Union mission and increased civilian protection in Darfur. But the House did not include this money. This funding is urgently needed to save lives and help bring an end to the crisis.

ACTION NEEDED: Write your Senators and Representative, asking them to urge Foreign Operations conferees help protect the people of Darfur by ensuring that at least $50 million is appropriated for the expansion of the African Union Mission in Sudan. A sample letter is included at the end of this email. Visit the CWS Speak Out Congressional Directory to look up their contact info.

Background: The security situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate. Civilians suffer harassment, beatings, rape and murder on a daily basis, while humanitarian organizations are hampered in their ability to provide essential assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. More than two million people in Darfur are still displaced, and nearly 3.4 million are directly affected by the conflict.

The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), initially deployed in June 2004, has approximately 6000 personnel currently on the ground and is expected to reach 7700 by the end of October 2005. Overall, AMIS has had a positive impact on security in the areas where it is deployed. But it currently lacks adequate financial and material resources to fulfill its mandate and ensure the protection of civilians. Over the past two years, Congress has worked to ensure that Administration has sufficient resources to fulfill commitments made to support the AMIS. The U.S. government has provided nearly $164 million for AMIS, most of which has been used to construct and maintain camps for the troops. Many lives can be saved if House-Senate conferees accept the inclusion of $50 million to support AMIS and help protect the people of Darfur in the 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. For more information on the Sudan crisis, visit the CWS Sudan page.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Senator/Representative: I am writing to urge that Foreign Operations conferees help protect the people of Darfur by ensuring that at least $50 million (included in the Senate version of the bill) is appropriated for the expansion of the African Union Mission (AMIS) in Sudan. Please let the conferees know that this funding can save lives and help bring an end to the crisis. Overall, the AMIS has had a positive impact on security in the areas where it is deployed. AMIS has approximately 6000 personnel currently on the ground and is expected to reach 7700 by the end of October 2005. But it currently lacks adequate financial and material resources to fulfill its mandate and ensure the protection of civilians. Civilians continue to suffer harassment, beatings, rape and murder on a daily basis, while humanitarian organizations are hampered in their ability to provide essential assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Over the past two years, Congress has worked to ensure that Administration has sufficient resources to fulfill commitments made to support the AMIS. Many lives can be saved if House-Senate conferees accept the inclusion of $50 million in the 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to support AMIS and help protect the people of Darfur.


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