Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: (202) 225-5021, September 14, 2006

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Hyde Praises House Passage of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act
Bill Punishes Those Who Have Committed Genocide and Enables Expanded Peacekeeping Operations

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Following fifteen months of intense bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, the United States House of Representatives last night passed legislation authored by Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL) to expand peacekeeping operations in Darfur, Sudan, and to punish those who have committed genocide there.  The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (H.R. 3127) now goes to the President for signature. 

            Hyde, the Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, stated, “Darfur remains a human catastrophe that must be engaged at the highest levels of our government.  With passage of this bill, we have taken a small, but significant, step toward finding a solution.”  Hyde further noted:  “Confronting genocide and facilitating peace in a country that has been at war with itself for most of its independent existence requires more than legislation and good intentions.  It will require a sustained campaign of pressure and aggressive diplomacy by those in the international community who are willing to roll up their sleeves, make the difficult choices, and find the improbable solutions.”   

            The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (DPAA) enables the President to provide assistance to support the deployment and operations of an expanded African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) with the mandate, size, strength and capacity to protect civilians until a United Nations peacekeeping mission can be deployed.  It then calls on the United Nations (UN), the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to immediately mobilize appropriate resources to support this effort.  The bill imposes targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity in Darfur.  It also prohibits the provision of non-humanitarian U.S. assistance to nations violating the military and arms embargo imposed pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions, calls for the suspension of Sudan’s membership in the United Nations, and encourages President Bush to deny entry at U.S. ports to certain Sudanese cargo ships or oil tankers if the Government of Sudan fails to take specified measures relating to Darfur.  It further enables the United States Government to provide emergency economic and development assistance to marginalized areas in Sudan, including Darfur, and authorizes the President to provide limited military assistance to the regional Government of Southern Sudan.  

            “The U.S. Congress can pass laws and the Administration can conduct aggressive diplomacy, but we cannot do this alone.  The Arab League and the Islamic Conference, in particular, should immediately condemn the heinous acts of violence directed against their Muslim brethren and demand that the Sudanese Government accept the deployment of UN peacekeepers.  And Members of the United Nations must stop using Sudan’s sovereignty as an excuse for inaction.  The Sudanese Government forfeited its sovereign rights when it unleashed genocide in Darfur,” Hyde said.

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