Darfur Legislative Update

Darfur Legislative Update

Congress is back in session after a weeklong recess.  The House and Senate State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees are scheduled to mark up their version of the FY09 foreign operations spending bill next week.  The House will mark up its version July 16 and the Senate will mark up July 17.  The full appropriations committees are scheduled to consider the bills the following week.

Due to election year politics, many do not expect most appropriations bills to be considered on the House/Senate floor.  However, rumors suggest that Rep. Obey (Chair, House Appropriations) and Sen. Byrd (Chair, Senate Appropriations) will push to bring the appropriations bills to the floor.  However, even if these bills aren’t considered on the House/Senate floor, they will likely be the “rough draft” or “blueprint” for a future FY09 spending package that the next president would sign.

In this message:
     1) FY08/09 Supplemental Funding Bill
     2) Report Language on Darfur Peacekeeping
     3) Notable Reports & Articles

1) FY08/09 Supplemental Funding Bill

After the first emergency war supplemental failed to produce a bill the President would sign, the House and Senate spent weeks working on a compromise funding bill and eventually passed the final version just prior to the July 4th congressional recess.  The President signed the $186.5 billion supplemental funding bill (most of it for Iraq and Afghanistan) on Monday, June 30.  Please find a summary of Sudan related provisions below:

Breakdown of Sudan related provisions in final supplemental funding bill:



Final Bill FY 08

Final Bill FY 09

Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA)

Funds U.S. contribution to UN peacekeeping

$373.7m available through FY09; no less than $333.6m is designated for UNAMID; bill also includes $40m for unpaid FY 08 dues

$150.5m for overall dues

Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)

Bilateral train and equipment of foreign peacekeeping troops


$95m to train and equip African peacekeepers; $10m for DRC

International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INCLE)

Supports public security and law enforcement activities


$390.3m available through FY 09; no specific Sudan language

$199m; no specific Sudan language

International Disaster Assistance (IDA)

Funds Emergency and Disaster Response

$220m for IDA available until expended; no specific Sudan language

$200m to meet global humanitarian needs; no Sudan specific language

Development Assistance (DA)

Funds bilateral development assistance


$200m to promote food security in places affected by food crisis, including Darfur

Operating Expenses of USAID

Funds personnel, security and operating needs

$30m (Sudan/Afghanistan)

$93m; no Sudan specific language

Economic Support Funds (ESF)

Support election-related activities

$45m for Sudan

$25m for Sudan

Diplomatic & Consular Programs Account

Supports U.S. diplomatic efforts in Sudan

Report language directs funds to support special envoy/ diplomatic mission

$15m for Sudan




















          2) Report Language on Darfur Peacekeeping

The supplemental signed by the President also included language (from the previous Senate mark) authorizing the President to use funds from other accounts to transfer or lease helicopters and/or equipment to support the logistical needs of the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping mission.  Specific bill text below:

SEC. 1411. Funds appropriated under the headings ”Foreign Military Financing Program” and ”Peacekeeping Operations” by the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (division J of Public Law 110–161) and by prior Acts making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs may be used to transfer, equip, upgrade, refurbish or lease helicopters or related equipment necessary to support the operations of the African Union/United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur, Sudan, that was established pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769.

While it is unclear whether any such funds are likely to be transferred, the intent of the language was to provide the President clear authority and a funding stream to support the needs of the peacekeeping mission.

3) Recent Notable Reports and Articles

Report from the U.N. Secretary General’s office on the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur  (6/17/08)

Keeping Our Word: Fulfilling the Mandate to Protect Civilians in Darfur, The ENOUGH Project and Save Darfur Coalition  (6/16/08)

Abeyi Aflame: An Update from the Field, The ENOUGH Project,  (5/30/08)

Sudan Peace and Democracy Watch  – Good updates and analysis on the situation in Abeyi, JEM’s attack on Khartoum, and efforts to revitalize the peace process in Darfur  (6/26/08)

Sudanese parliament poised to pass elections law despite opposition, Sudan Tribune,  (7/6/08)

Sudanese armies move troops out of disputed Abeyi, Sudan Tribune,  (7/2/08)

U.S. welcomes the appointment of new Darfur mediator, Sudan Tribune,  (7/2/08)

U.S. says no normalization with Sudan before November elections, Sudan Tribune,  (6/30/08)

FEATURE: Justice a threat to peace in Darfur?, Sudan Tribune,  (6/30/08)

**The Darfur Legislative Update provides information on the efforts of various groups to serve the broad legislative advocacy community working on Darfur related issues.  All information included does not necessarily reflect the views of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).**