Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) praised the passage of S.Res.276, a bipartisan resolution calling for the urgent deployment of a robust multinational peacekeeping mission with sufficient size, resources, leadership, and mandate to protect civilians in Darfur, Sudan.
Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Mikulski, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, are both original co-sponsors of S.Res.276 and have long been a vocal proponents of the United States taking an active role to end the genocide in the Darfur region.
“The United States has a moral responsibility to protect the people of Darfur and end the genocide in that region,” said Senator Cardin. “This resolution is an important step in the having the United States take a leadership role in ending the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people neglected by the government of Sudan.
I support sending a strong message to Khartoum that the United States is committed to preventing further atrocities in Darfur.”
“The United States can not stand idly by while the people of Darfur continue to suffer. The United States must dedicate ourselves to building a peace plan for Sudan that will halt the violence, ensure the return of refugees, and establish a system of accountability,” said Senator Mikulski. “The deployment of a UN mission is the best option to enforce a ceasefire, ensure access to humanitarian assistance, and begin to rebuild Darfur. I will continue to fight in the U.S. Senate for the people of Darfur to find the peace they deserve.”
S.Res.276 was introduced by Senator Joseph R. Biden (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Senate Resolution calls for the United States to work with the United Nations and other international organizations to support U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706, passed in August 2006, creating a 20,000 person peacekeeping mission in Darfur authorized to use force to enforce its mandate.
S.Res.276 also authorizes the creation of a no-fly zone over Darfur.
International relief efforts and negotiations have been hampered through aerial bombings by the Sudanese Air Force.