WASHINGTON (BP)--The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended Feb. 11 the federal government make achieving peace in Sudan a priority, beginning with the appointment of a special envoy as soon as possible.
The special envoy would be an advocate for the Obama administration in the effort to bring about full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan. That January 2005 treaty ended a civil war of more than 20 years marked by what has been described as a
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genocidal campaign by the militant Islamic Arab regime in Khartoum against Christians and animists in southern Sudan and moderate African Muslims.
In a Capitol Hill news conference, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stressed the need for the Sudanese government to enact its CPA obligations. The danger of the CPA unraveling may create increasing belligerence between Khartoum, in the north, and the south and disadvantage chances of achieving peace in Darfur, where another genocidal effort has occurred during the last six years.
In that western region of Sudan, Khartoum military forces and Arab militias backed by the government have instituted ethnic cleansing against African Muslims, resulting in the killing of about 400,000 people, as well as rampant torture, rape and kidnapping, USCIRF has reported. More than two million people have been left homeless, according to estimates.
Members of Congress at the news conference suggested the Obama administration issue a clear policy to frame what it will do and what the expected work of the special envoy will be. It is important the special envoy is someone who demonstrates credibility when speaking for the president, said Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Va.
Among USCIRF recommendations presented at the news conference were:
-- Focusing on and advancing implementation of the CPA by building support for peace; Read More