September 28, 2007

SENATE PASSES CARDIN AMENDMENT MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR U.S. TO BECOME LEADER IN GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST GENOCIDE, MASS ATROCITIES

WASHINGTON -  Late last night, the Senate passed an amendment to the Defense authorization bill introduced by U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD, that would make it possible for the United States to take a leading role in helping international forces combat global genocide, ethnic cleansing and other mass atrocities that have occurred in places like Darfur.

 

Senator Cardin's amendment would require the secretaries of Defense and State to prepare a report assessing the capability of the Department of Defense and the Department of State to provide training and guidance to international intervention force that seek to prevent mass atrocities.  

 

"The world has stood by while mass killings, rapes and other atrocities have taken place in Darfur.    We witnessed a similar situation decades ago in Cambodia.   My goal is to provide international forces with the training they need to protect civilians who may be targeted for violence," said Senator Cardin, co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission

 

The Senator's amendment would assess the capability of the Pentagon and Department of State to provide training and guidance and to international intervention forces of the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.   In 2005, the United Nations adopted the doctrine of "responsibility to protect" civilians who may be targeted for genocide or other mass atrocities.

 

"The United States is the world leader and we have the ability to assist other international organizations in stopping the genocide that has threatened regions such as Darfur," said Senator Cardin.   "My amendment gives us an opportunity to make the U.N. doctrine a reality."

 

Also co-sponsoring the amendment were Senators Joseph Biden, D-DE, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and Russell Feingold, D-WI.