2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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Responding Effectively and Immediately to the Human Rights Tragedy in Sudan

WHEREAS, a conflict between rebel forces in the Darfu region of Sudan and forces of the Sudanese government (along with allied Janjaweed militias) has resulted in attacks by air and ground forces on tens of thousands of innocent people and undefended villages throughout the Darfur regions; and

WHEREAS, approximately 30,000 people are believed to have been killed, with over one million people forced from their homes by the Sudanese government troops and Janjaweed militias, approximately 120,000 of them having sought refugee protection in neighboring Chad; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of State estimates that at least 301 Sudanese villages have been systematically attacked and destroyed, and another 76 Sudanese villages have been damaged; and

WHEREAS, a more precise assessment of the scope of the killing, ethnic cleansing, and other human rights atrocities (including rapes and tortures) has been made impossible because of obstructions to access imposed by the Sudanese government; and

WHEREAS, the Sudanese government has been unwilling to effectively address the human rights crisis in Darfur and has been supplying arms to the allied Janjaweed militias perpetrating violence against African Muslims in Darfur; and

WHEREAS, much of the violence being perpetrated against people in the Darfur region of Sudan is occurring through aerial attacks; and

WHEREAS, Amnesty International has estimated that almost three million people are affected by the conflict in the Darfur region, but humanitarian aid agencies and the United Nations estimate that only 15 percent of these people have received aid, due to impediments to the delivery of aid imposed by the Sudanese government; and

WHEREAS, because of the impediments to access by humanitarian  in jeopardy of starvation and illness; and

WHEREAS, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell has said of the situation, “This is a catastrophe and it is incumbent on the international community to come together solidly to do everything we can to bring it to an end to bring relief to these desperate people;” and

Whereas, the United States and much of the international community turned a blind eye to the murders, rapes and torture of millions of people, as well as the ethnic cleansing and other massive human rights abuses during the Holocaust, and in Rwanda, Bosnia and Srebrenica; and

WHEREAS, there has been general agreement that “Never Again” will we allow such tragedies to occur; and

Whereas, effective measures can be taken by the United States, the United Nations, and the international community to end many of the tragic human rights abuses occurring in Sudan,

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly urges the U. S. Congress and the Bush Administration, in collaboration with the United Nations, to call on the government of Sudan to (a) declare a no-fly zone over the Darfur region, putting an end to aerial attacks, with enforcement of the no-fly zone to be provided by the United Nations; (b) allow the free movement of human rights investigators and humanitarian workers in the Darfur region; (c) cease supplying the allied Janjaweed militia with arms; and (d) agree to a United Nations mission of at lease 10,000 international peacekeepers to stop the violence and attend to the needs of those who have been impacted by the violence in the Darfur region.