The U.S. Conference of Mayors


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 400,000 deaths in the region can be attributed to violence, disease, and malnutrition because of the conflict. Over two million five hundred thousand people have been forced from their homes by the Sudanese government troops and Janjaweed militias, approximately 300,000 of them having sought refugee protection in neighboring Chad; and

WHEREAS, Janjaweed militias have recently launched successful attacks on refugees and Chadian civilians within Chad, and have likewise launched attacks on civilians in Darfur with direct military support from the Sudanese government;

WHEREAS, the United States Department of State estimates that at least 500 Sudanese villages have been systematically attacked and destroyed, and another 700 Sudanese villages have been damaged; and

WHEREAS, rape has been, and is being utilized as an instrument of war for the sake of humiliation, punishment, and breaking the will of the people who have remained on their lands; 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, Human Rights Watch noted in April 2006 that "fighting between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebel movements has escalated in the past six months, displacing tens of thousands of people, many of whom had already fled attacks in 2003-2006," and that "civilians continue to be targeted for killings, rape, displacement and looting, mainly by government-backed Janjaweed militias in Darfur"; and

WHEREAS, significant incidents of violence continue to be perpetrated against people in the Darfur region of Sudan via aerial attacks conducted by Sudanese government warplanes falsely and deceptively bearing the markings of the United Nations; and

WHEREAS, Human Rights Watch estimates that almost four million people are affected by the conflict in the Darfur region. Humanitarian aid agencies and the United Nations estimate that tens of thousands of civilians are unable to receive aid, including up to 40% of West Darfur, due to impediments to the delivery of aid imposed by the Sudanese government; and

WHEREAS, because of the impediments to access by and acts of violence, mayhem and intimidation directed toward representatives of international humanitarian organizations, hundreds of thousands of displaced Sudanese are in jeopardy of starvation and illness;

WHEREAS, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in March 2005 - over two years ago - 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 then said on September 27, 2006 that "the government of Sudan must immediately and unconditionally accept a U.N. peacekeeping force into Darfur," and that "the time for stalling has passed;" 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, Rwanda, Bosnia, Srebrenica and Southern Sudan; and

WHEREAS, there has been general agreement that "Never Again" will we allow such genocides and atrocities to humanity 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, for the fourth consecutive year, strongly urges the U.S. Congress and the Bush Administration, in collaboration with the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and NATO to: A.initiate steps towards the creation of a NATO enforced no-fly zone over the Darfur region, putting an end to aerial attacks; B.ensure that the U.S. and its allies pay their fair and equitable share of the expenses associated with the deployment and maintenance of the current African Union peacekeeping force and the expected United Nations/African Union hybrid mission following the eventual transition from the former to the latter, until such time as lasting peace and order is restored in the Darfur region; C.pass federal legislation ensuring the legality of state and city legislation which divests state and city pension funds and other similarly administrated fiduciaries of holdings of companies determined to be doing harmful business with the government of Sudan or with entities with which the government of Sudan has a pecuniary interest until such time as lasting peace and order is restored to the Darfur region; D.cooperate fully with pursue the prosecution by the International Criminal Court of members of the Sudanese regime or other individuals who have contributed to, fostered or furthered the genocide in Darfur or have engaged in other crimes against humanity; E.take immediate measures to compel the Sudanese government to allow and guarantee the free movement of human rights investigators and humanitarian workers in the Darfur region; F.take immediate measures to compel the Sudanese government to cease supplying the allied Janjaweed militias with arms; G.take immediate measures to compel the Sudanese government to fully and unconditionally agree to the deployment of the United Nations mission authorized in UN Security Council resolution 1706 and of at least 22,500 international peacekeepers to protect civilians and help create the stability necessary for the successful continuation of the peace process;

2007 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