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Letter to President Bush with concerns about the continuing genocide in Darfur

April 30, 2007

Dear Mr. President:


I write to you on behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association with deep concerns about the continuing genocide in Darfur. As the United States begins its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council, this is an opportune time to launch multilateral diplomacy efforts to ensure real protection for the people of Darfur. 

The United Nations estimates that in February 2007 alone, there were 30,000 new refugees in the Darfur region. This human crisis continues to expand; the United States government must act decisively now.

The United States must take leadership in setting specific timelines and benchmarks for the progress of peacekeeping forces. Security Council Resolution 1706, which was passed in August 2006 and called for 20,000 UN peacekeepers, needs to be revisited to ensure deployment of sufficient numbers of peacekeepers to the Darfur region of Sudan and to Eastern Chad. Further, the African Union peacekeepers need to be funded in order to protect people adequately and bring stability to the region. 

We call upon the United States government to provide assistance to the International Criminal Court as it prepares to prosecute those responsible for this genocide. It is in our nation's best interest to share fully the intelligence that we have from the region to allow the ICC to be as effective as possible.

There is no time to waste. The United States must act now, using this brief window of leadership with the Security Council to help avoid more starvation, murder, and rape in Darfur.  This atrocity is unfolding before our eyes -- let us look back on history and know that the United States government effectively leveraged its vast diplomatic and financial resources to end the genocide.

The children of the United States and the children who now find themselves refugees in Darfur and Chad are counting on us.

Sincerely,

Reg Weaver, President
National Education Association