End Crimes Against Humanity in Darfur, Sudan 2005 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS the government of Sudan, allied with Janjaweed militias, continues to inflict systematic violence on innocent civilians in Darfur, Sudan, including murder, rape, torture, and destruction of villages;

WHEREAS these forces systematically rape the women of Darfur, and those who survive are forced to bear the children of their oppressors, and are thus obliged to cooperate in their own ethnic extinction;

WHEREAS deaths from the conflict are estimated at 300,000 to 400,000 since February 2003;

WHEREAS roughly two million Darfurians are currently displaced, many living in refugee camps where hunger and disease are rampant;

WHEREAS, according to the World Food Programme, 3.6 million Darfurians, more than half the region's population, will require aid to survive the "hunger season" (August through October);

WHEREAS the United States Congress, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and President George W. Bush declared that genocide is occurring in Darfur;

WHEREAS the United Nations Security Council has referred the conflict to the International Criminal Court;

WHEREAS the Reverend William Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, was arrested on August 26, 2004, in protest at the Embassy of Sudan over genocide in Darfur;

WHEREAS in March 2005, over 400 Unitarian Universalists, in a joint action of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, faxed letters to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging action to end the atrocities in Darfur;

WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association co-sponsored the Save Darfur Rally in Central Park in New York City, at which the Reverend Charles Blustein Ortman of the Unitarian Church of Montclair, New Jersey, and member of the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees delivered a keynote address;

WHEREAS pressure from the international community has yet to end the atrocities in Darfur;

WHEREAS the African Union Mission in Sudan, currently the only peacekeeping force in Darfur, lacks the size, resources, and mandate to protect the region's civilians; and

WHEREAS humanitarian workers in the region continue to be harassed by rebel and government forces;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the 2005 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association that Unitarian Universalists should advocate for immediate action to end the crisis in Darfur.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, given that the civilian population is at risk and aid workers and International Criminal Court investigators are intimidated and prevented from acting effectively, the 2005 General Assembly endorses United States government legislation that calls for:

  • Support to the African Union, at no charge, to immediately expand its peacekeeping mission in Darfur;
  • United Nations Security Council action to obtain international support for the African Union force;
  • A presidential special envoy to Sudan;
  • Logistical support for the implementation of a no-fly zone over Darfur, provided by a multi-national force, to prevent attacks by the Sudanese government on the people of Darfur;
  • Complete cooperation with the International Criminal Court.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office support United Nations Secretariat efforts to achieve the necessary Security Council action and to keep Unitarian Universalists informed of current events at the United Nations concerning Darfur; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association urges similar action on the part of members of the International Council of Unitarian Universalists in those countries that comprise the Security Council.