May 29, 2007

Washington, DC -- In response to the White House announcement of additional sanctions against Sudan in connection with the Darfur genocide, Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released this statement:

“The president's announcement imposing new sanctions on Sudan is a dollar short and months late. In November last year, the President's Special Envoy to Sudan announced January 1 as the deadline for Khartoum to complete negotiations on a proposed 20,000 international peacekeeping force. The new year has come and gone, but Khartoum is playing the same old game: it has agreed only to an additional 3,000 troops for a total of 10,000.

"Khartoum has conned the Administration into prolonged negotiations that yield only partial results while the genocide continues without stop. On top of the untold number killed week after week, aid groups report that 110,000 people were displaced between January 1 and March 31 this year alone. Additional sanctions are welcome now, but they could have sent a stronger message months ago, and saved many lives from being disrupted or lost."

Lantos, who is also the founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, led Congress to label the situation in Darfur a genocide in 2004 and has sponsored legislation urging more rigorous U.S. and U.N. action to stop the slaughter.