The Shame of DarfurFrom First Things:
The Shame of Darfur
In April 2005, a striking celebration occurred in Washington to mark the signing of a peace accord between rebel groups of southern Sudan and the Islamist regime in Khartoum, ending Africa’s longest and bloodiest civil war. In a packed room in the Longworth House Office Building, Sudanese exiles mingled with the American officials and religious leaders whose efforts helped halt Sudan’s two-decade genocidal war against its non-Muslim population. The event marked a triumph for both the Bush administration and the faith-based human-rights movement that has burst on the American foreign-policy scene in recent years. But the triumph was muted, for the Sudanese government in Khartoum has now turned its attention from the southern part of the country to the western, undertaking massive ethnic cleansing in the region known as Darfur. The president can put together an international coalition of conscience to block arms and threaten Sudan’s oil industry unless it provides lasting security guarantees to the Darfur people. He can ensure all agencies of the U.S. government send clear, tough messages to Khartoum—and one way to do that is by backing legislation for accountability in Darfur.