Human rights activists are urging
Secretary of State Clinton, during her African trip, to call for strong action
to end the Darfur crisis.
six-year-old conflict in western Sudan has displaced millions and resulted in
the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Many groups and countries, including the
United States, have described the humanitarian crisis there as genocide.
President Omar al-Bashir has been accused of war crimes by the ICC, the
International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Fowler, head of the Save Darfur Coalition, says, "One of the issues that we
encourage her (Clinton) to raise with African leaders as she tours the
continent is the need for coordinated action to address the interlocking crises
Taking the lead
Obama administration," he says, "has a remarkable opportunity to lead
strategically for peace in Sudan. And
having the secretary of state underscore that to people that she meets with is
"coordinated action" says Fowler, includes "multilateral engagement that
basically offersto the government of Sudan a choice…. Progress towards lasting
peace and stability in the country and in the region in exchange for which
ultimately there would be normal relations between Sudan and the rest of the
other choice, he says, "is continuing with the status quo, which endangers
millions of civilians or even gets worse, in which case there would be international
isolation and a continued exclusion of Sudan from the full participation in the
community of nations."
US and the international community should present that choice before Sudanese
leaders, says Fowler, and "create a space for peace."
Darfur and CPA inseparable
2005, Northern and Southern Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA), which ended over 20 years of civil war.
Tensions between the two sides over border and oil resource have flared
in recent months. The CPA calls for
elections in April in Southern Sudan and a referendum in 2011 on breaking away
from the north.
of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is very, very important. It provides the framework for the democratic
transformation of the country," he says.
in the south and Darfur must be addressed together, says Fowler, because
"they're inter-connected and they share common roots and causes."