WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has penned a letter to President Obama calling for accountability for human rights violations in South Sudan and stressing the importance of American leadership in ending the crisis. He was joined on the bipartisan letter by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.).
Since violent clashes erupted on December 15, 2013, an estimated 740,000 people have been displaced, 85,157 remain sheltered at eight different UN bases around the country, and thousands more have died.
“Reports out of South Sudan continue to suggest that serious crimes against humanity are occurring in the country. The United States must maintain its global leadership in the defense of human rights and act to ensure that this comes to an end,” said Senator Cardin. “The cycle of violence will only be broken through peaceful reconciliation and accountability for the grave crimes that have been committed.”
Senator Cardin is the lead sponsor of the Global Human Rights Accountability Act, which would ensure human rights abusers from anywhere in the world are denied entry into the United States and barred from using our financial institutions. The bill, S. 1933, would expand the Russia-specific sanctions in the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act (Public Law 112-208) to apply globally, as approved by the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Finance Committee in 2012.