12 March 2009
Washington, DC: Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced a resolution commending the International Criminal Court (ICC) for issuing an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and restating the United States’ commitment to supporting a multifaceted approach to facilitating justice, peace and stability in the Darfur region.
“No leader who commits such horrific crimes should be allowed to remain free,” said Hastings.
The resolution commends the ICC for its efforts, as well as condemns President al-Bashir’s actions. The resolution also expresses the sense of Congress that a comprehensive approach is needed to successfully end the genocide and the repression of human rights in Darfur, including positive social, economic, and political developments in the region. Finally, the resolution calls on the United States to engage in vigorous diplomacy, including requesting President Obama to immediately appoint a high-level envoy for the region.
“President al-Bashir has directed the Sudanese government’s efforts to use the very worst kinds of crimes to carry out an active program of oppression. While the roots of this conflict run deep, combining a complex mix of racial, tribal, religious, political, geographic, and environmental matters, surely there can be no excuse to engage in the kind of violence that President al-Bashir has inflicted on the people of Darfur. It is well past time to bring him to justice.”
Joining Hastings as original co-sponsors of the resolution include: Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr., Sheila Jackson-Lee, John Olver, Gwen Moore, Frank Wolf, Michael Honda, Barbara Lee, James Moran, Michael McCaul, Tom Perriello, and Michael Capuano.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.