This is the first e-mail I sent when I returned from Africa.
Dear President Bush,
I just returned from Africa. I saw first hand the tragic aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. I am pleading with you to ACT NOW on Darfur. Please, President Bush LEAD on this issue.
President al-Bashir continues to ignore diplomatic efforts to pressure him to end the genocide. More than 400,000 Darfurians have already lost their lives and over 2.5 million have been displaced.
In your speech on April 18, you promised tough sanctions and punitive actions targeted at the Sudanese government if they continue to obstruct the international community's efforts to bring peace and protection to Darfur. You said, "if President al-Bashir does not meet his obligations to the United States of America, we'll act." While I applaud that sentiment, it is one I have heard before.
I therefore urge you to remain true to the deadline U.S. Special Envoy Andrew Natsios set out when he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 11 that the U.S. would hold off on sanctions at the behest of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon "for 2 to 4 weeks." The waiting game must come to an end for the people of Darfur.
I urge you to take the following steps if President al-Bashir does not comply with your demands:
* Enact and enforce targeted sanctions against the leadership of the regime in Khartoum, including sanctions against the companies used by the leadership to finance the genocide.
* Implement all sanctions and measures for which you were given legal authority when Congress enacted, and you signed, the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, including blocking from U.S. ports those ships that have transported Sudanese oil.
* Engage at the United Nations and with world leaders to enact the strictest targeted worldwide sanctions regime against Sudan's leadership.
* Develop and implement, with our NATO allies, a no-fly zone covering Sudanese military flights over Darfur.
* Engage with the United Nations to prepare and deploy a protection force for civilians in eastern Chad and the Central African Republic.
* Prepare for the deployment of a credible and effective international force to Darfur with a strong mandate to protect vulnerable civilians and ensure conditions for effective humanitarian aid. This should include a budget amendment request to Congress to pay the U.S.'s full share of UN peacekeeping dues.
* Produce a contingency plan to respond to the potentially cataclysmic collapse of security and humanitarian aid networks in Darfur.
Thank you for your continued concern for this genocide and your stated commitment to act to end it.
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