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CALLING ON THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE GENOCIDE IN THE DARFUR REGION OF SUDAN AND TO STEP UP THEIR EFFORTS TO STOP THE GENOCIDE IN DARFUR; CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM TO IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY RELEASE FATHER NGUYEN VAN LY, NGUYEN VAN DAI, LE THI CONG NHAN, AND OTHER POLITICAL PRISONERS AND PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES; AND COMMEMORATING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ABOLITION OF TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2007
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:34 a.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Tom Lantos (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Chairman LANTOS. The committee will be in order. We have a series of noncontroversial bills on the agenda. It is the intention of the chair to consider these measures en bloc and, by unanimous consent, authorizes the chair to seek consideration of the remaining bills under suspension of the rules. All members are given leave to insert remarks on these measures into the record, should they choose to do so.
Because of a tight time schedule today, I would request that members hold their remarks until we consider these matters on the House floor.
Without objection, the chairman is authorized to seek consideration of the following bills under suspension of the rules, and the amendments to those measures, which the members have before them, shall be deemed adopted: H. Con. Res. 7, calling on the League of Arab States to acknowledge the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan and to step up their efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur; H. Res. 243, calling on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally release Father Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan, and other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and for other purposes; and, finally, H. Res. 272, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
[The information referred to follows:]
H. CON. RES. 7
Calling on the League of Arab States to acknowledge the genocide in the
Darfur region of Sudan and to step up their efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JANUARY 4, 2007 Ms. LEE submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to
the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Calling on the League of Arab States to acknowledge the
genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan and to step up their efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Whereas in July 2004, the House of Representatives and
Senate declared that the atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan constitute genocide, and the Bush administration reached the same conclusion in September 2004, when then Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that "the evidence leads us to the conclusion that genocide has occurred and may still be occurring in Darfur";
Whereas more than 400,000 people have been killed by the
Government of Sudan and its Janjaweed allies since the crisis began in 2003, more than 2,000,000 people have
been displaced from their homes, and more than 250,000 people from Darfur remain in refugee camps in Chad;
Whereas the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, in late August 2006 stated that “[i]nsecurity is at its highest level since 2004, access at its lowest levels since that date, and we may well be on the brink of a return to all-out war””;
Whereas despite the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement
in May 2006, violence against civilians, peacekeepers, and humanitarian workers continues unabated, and an estimated 12 humanitarian workers have been killed in Darfur, including a nurse in September 2006;
Whereas in August 2006, the Government of Sudan began to
deploy thousands of government troops for a major offensive in Darfur, once again threatening a major humanitarian catastrophe and risking the safety and security of millions of civilians;
Whereas, according to the Government of Sudan's plan, in a
document submitted to the United Nations SecretaryGeneral, Kofi Annan, the Government of Sudan plans to deploy approximately 26,500 additional troops and 7,050
additional police to Darfur; Whereas the objectives of this deployment are “to deal with
the threats posed by the activities of groups that have rejected the Darfur Peace Agreement and to gain control over the security situation and achieve stability in Darfur";
Whereas on August 31, 2006, the United Nations Security
Council passed Resolution 1706, expanding the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) for the additional deployment of 17,300 peacekeeping troops
.HCON 7 IH
and 3,300 civilian police personnel as well as 16 formed police units to Darfur;
Whereas implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agree
ment (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) is slow, raising serious concern about the commitment of the Government of Sudan to fulfill its responsibilities;
Whereas President Omar Hassan El-Bashir of Sudan has re
jected the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to Darfur, even as First Vice President Salva Kiir has publicly stated his support for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission to Darfur;
Whereas in March 2006, at the Khartoum summit, Arab
leaders worked against a plan to transform the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) into a United Nations protection force with a mandate to protect civilians;
Whereas on August 20, 2006, in Cairo, Egypt, the League
of Arab States met and backed Sudan's refusal of a United Nations peacekeeping force in the war-wracked Darfur region;
Whereas in September 2006, a resolution passed by the Arab
League's Council of Foreign Ministers called for the
Whereas on September 20, 2006, the Security and Peace
Council of the African Union approved a decision to extend the mandate of AMIS in Darfur to the end of 2006;
Whereas, although the United Nations is set to send peace
keeping forces to Darfur under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706 (2006), the Arab League alleg
edly remains engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to obstruct the deployment of such forces or reduce their mandate;
Whereas the November 30, 2006, Abuja Communique of the
Peace and Security Council of the African Union states the following:
(1) The Special Representative shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, after appropriate consultations as per the practice.
(2) The Force Commander, who should be an African, shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Commission in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
(3) The Mission shall benefit from United Nations backstopping and command and control structures and systems.
(4) The size of the force shall be determined by the African Union and the United Nations, taking into account all relevant factors and the situation on the ground, as well as the requirements for it to effectively discharge its mandate; and
Whereas the support of the Arab League to end the genocide
in Darfur will be critical: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate
2 concurring), That Congress
(1) strongly urges the League of Arab States to
declare the systematic torture, rape, and displace
ment of Darfurians a genocide;
.HCON 7 IH