WHEREAS, a conflict between rebel forces in the Darfur 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 region; and

WHEREAS, more than 100,000 people and perhaps as many as 400,000 are believed to have been killed and hundreds of villages systematically destroyed, with over two million people forced from their homes by the Sudanese government troops and Janjaweed militias, approximately 200,000 of them having sought refugee protection in neighboring Chad; and

WHEREAS, in addition to those killed, the World Health Organization estimated in 2004 that from March to October 2004 at least 70,000 people had died from malnutrition and disease linked to the conflict; and

WHEREAS, despite efforts by the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, the African Union and the European Union, and the declaration by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to the U.S. Senate that genocide was occurring, the conflict in Darfur continues, with an estimated 10,000 people dying every month; and

WHEREAS, a more precise assessment of the scope of the killing, ethnic cleansing, and other human rights atrocities (including rapes and torture) 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 estimates 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% 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 organizations, hundreds of thousands of displaced Sudanese are in jeopardy of starvation and illness;

WHEREAS, United States Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has said of the situation, “The international community has to act on Darfur. It has to act with great speed. It is a humanitarian crisis. It is a moral crisis, and it is a crisis that is extraordinary in its scope and in its potential for even greater damage to those populations;” and

WHEREAS, prior to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the United Nations called Darfur the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis;” 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 Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda; 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, by 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, and NATO to: a) create a NATO enforced no-fly zone over the Darfur region, putting an end to aerial attacks; (b) allow the free movement of human rights investigators and humanitarian workers in the Darfur region; (c) cease supplying the allied Janjaweed militias with arms; and (d) agree to a United Nations mission of at least 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.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352