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For Immediate Release

PHR Condemns the Sudanese Government's Plan to Send 10,500 Troops to Darfur

Calls on the UN Security Council to Pass Resolution and Expedite Deployment of a Chapter 7 UN Peacekeeping Force to the Region

Cambridge, Mass - 08/25/2006

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) strongly condemns the Government of Sudan's plans to send 10,500 of its own troops to quell continuing violence in Darfur, and calls on the United Nations Security Council instead to pass the resolution expediting the deployment of a robust United Nations peacekeeping force to the region. The Sudanese government, and its proxy forces, the Janjaweed rebels, have been implicated in the violence that has wracked the westernmost region of Darfur since early 2003, resulting in the death of 200,000-400,000 people and displacement of nearly three million.

"It is absurd to imagine that the Government of Sudan would protect the people of Darfur - this is the same government that has been arming the Janjaweed, razing villages to the ground and killing civilians for the past three years," said PHR's Deputy Director, Susannah Sirkin, who recently returned from Darfur. "A government that has shown a clear intent to eradicate the people of Darfur cannot be entrusted with their security."

There are currently approximately 7,000 African Union (AMIS) troops stationed in Darfur, enforcing the fragile ceasefire. AMIS' mission has suffered from funding shortfalls and a weak mandate that does not allow them to directly protect civilians. Without further funding the force will withdraw at the end of September 2006. The United Nations Security Council has been deliberating whether to send a peacekeeping force to the region to augment the AMIS force, a move that Sudan's President, LT. Gen. Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, has vowed to block.

"It's long past time for the Security Council to take a unified and effective stance and deploy a strong peacekeeping force. Only a robust, well-equipped United Nations force can stop the violence in Darfur that has continued since the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement in May, and which now includes different Darfurian factions attacking civilians," said Sirkin.

On August 17, Britain and the United States put forward a UN Security Council resolution to send 17,000 UN peacekeepers to Darfur by October 1, 2006.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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