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Million postcards urge US Bush to stop Darfur genocide

National Council of Churches

Press release

NCC helps Save Darfur Coalition generate 1 Million postcards urging President Bush to stop Darfur genocide

June 29, 2006 (WASHINGTON) — Demonstrating that moral issues can overcome partisan politics, Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) today signed the one millionth postcard from Americans to President Bush through the Save Darfur Coalition’s "Million Voices for Darfur" campaign. The postcards urge the president to use the full power of his office to support a stronger multi-national force to protect the people of Darfur.

"As part of the Save Darfur Coalition, the National Council of Churches USA added its voice to this campaign so that the killing would stop," said Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, associate general secretary of the NCC for international affairs and peace. "For two years the NCC has been calling for intervention in Darfur to stop the systematic murder of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Africa," he said. "The million voices campaign shows that Americans do not want to stand by and do nothing while another genocide takes place in our world."

The General Assembly of the NCC, representing 35 Christian Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, historic peace and African American churches, in 2004 condemned the killing and called upon the U.S. and the international community to end the genocide. [http://www.ncccusa.org/sudanresources.html]

Since February 2003, the worsening genocide sponsored by the Sudanese government and perpetrated by its Janjaweed militia allies has claimed at least 400,000 lives, displaced 2.5 million people, and left nearly 4 million completely dependent on international humanitarian aid.

The postcards are part of an unprecedented "Million Voices for Darfur" campaign that was launched on January 12 by the Save Darfur Coalition [www.savedarfur.org], an alliance of 167 faith-based, advocacy, and humanitarian organizations, to generate one million electronic and handwritten postcards to President Bush. The text of the model electronic postcard reads:
Dear President Bush,
During your first year in the White House, you wrote in the margins of a report on the Rwandan genocide, "Not on my watch." I urge you to live up to those words by using the power of your office to support a stronger multi-national force to protect the civilians of Darfur.

"We are calling on President Bush to assume a consistently stronger leadership role in this and to have a greater sense of urgency," said the Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D., chairwoman of the Save Darfur Coalition’s Million Voices for Darfur campaign. "Our global policy has been hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil and so we have ended up doing no good." The Rev. White-Hammond said "a United Nations peacekeeping force will be the only true protection for the refugees of Darfur. The president should answer these million calls for action by using his leverage on the U.N. Security Council and by immediately appointing a U.S. Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan

Others have been calling for a U.S. Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan to coordinate U.S. policy in the country and Darfur region. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick resigned last week - the fourth of the top five high-level Darfur policy officials within the administration to announce his departure in recent weeks - and calls have increased for a special envoy to ensure that Darfur remains an administration priority.


- NCC News Contact: Dan Webster, 212.870.2252, dwebster@councilofchurches.org- Save Darfur Coalition Contact: Jeff Kovick, 202.478.6147, Jeff@savedarfur.org