Washington, DC — As the security situation in Sudan deteriorates, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, along with Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY), today announced the passage of new legislation to bolster the efforts of the African Union forces in Sudan to protect the civilian population of Darfur.
The new legislation, passed as part of the fiscal year 2007 Defense Appropriations Act, provides an increase of $20 million to: (1) assist in the training, support and equipping of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to bolster their efforts to protect the civilian population of Darfur; (2) facilitate the air-lifting of AMIS forces into the Darfur region as quickly as possible; and (3) assist and expand the logistics capability of AMIS forces. There are currently around 7,000 African Union troops trying to stop the genocide in Sudan, in which an estimated 300,000 people have been killed. A copy of the bill is attached.
“In the four months since the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement, the situation there has worsened,” said Senator Reid. “As the government of Sudan continues to block the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to Darfur, the African Union force remains the front line of security. This legislation recognizes the reality of the situation, and helps to strengthen the African Union Mission in Sudan.”
Earlier this year, the Senate passed Senator Reid’s legislation to compel the Defense Department to explain its role in assisting the implementation of the recently signed Darfur Peace Agreement. Reid has also been an outspoken proponent of appointing a Special Envoy to Sudan.