Candidates Agree on Darfur
By Michael Abramowitz
In an unusual joint statement, the three major presidential candidates warned the government of Sudan that they are united in demanding a halt to the violence and genocide in Darfur.
A statement from Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain said the three candidates "wish to make clear to the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous importance, there is no divide between us.
"We stand united and demand that the genocide and violence in Darfur be brought to an end and that the CPA be fully implemented."
The CPA refers to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for the conflict in southern Sudan, which has been teetering in recent months.
The candidates' statement was released this morning by the Save Darfur Coalition, an advocacy group that has been pushing for international action to curb the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, where hundreds of thousands have perished in recent years. The U.S. has been negoiating with the Sudanese government about the deployment of international peacekeeper to protect civilians.
A key purpose of the letter appears to be to put the Sudan government on notice not to expect better terms from the next U.S. president, Republican or Democrat.
"We will continue to keep a close watch on events in Sudan and speak out for its marginalized peoples," the trio wrote. "It would be a huge mistake for the Khartoum regime to think that it will benefit by running out the clock on the Bush Administration. If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, we pledge that the next Administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve."
The Save Darfur group also purchased an advertisement highlighting the statement in today's editions of the New York Times.
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