Making a Difference in Darfur

By Jim Wallis 04-14-2009

In an op-ed piece in Monday's Wall Street Journal, on which I collaborated with John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, we wrote:

Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. His response was to expel international aid agencies that provide a lifeline to Darfurians, and with that, "never again" is being made into "once again" through a continuation of genocide by other means. But Mr. Bashir's deadly gambit provides an opportunity.

The ICC judges were split on whether to include charges of genocide, but they left the dossier open so additional evidence of intent could be added. Mr. Bashir's expulsion order should provide evidence of intent, because the aid organizations were keeping specific groups of Darfurians alive. Thousands will die even if a compromise is implemented that allows some agencies to return but leaves the causes of the crisis unaddressed.

President Barack Obama should now move to finally end the crisis in Sudan, rather than to respond to the immediate symptoms. His administration and its new special envoy to Sudan, Gen. Scott Gration, can do that by focusing on three things.

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