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WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to newly announced U.S. sanctions against Sudan. In April, Hoyer led a Congressional delegation to Sudan and the Darfur region, and in May joined Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) in spearheading a bipartisan letter to the President urging him to deliver a strong message to the Sudanese government that it is expected to adhere to all agreements regarding continued humanitarian access.
“I am pleased that the President has decided to implement the long-awaited 'Plan B' by issuing new sanctions against the Sudanese government, the details of which were first laid out at the Holocaust Museum six weeks ago.
“These economic sanctions are necessary to put pressure on Khartoum and to show General Omar al-Bashir that the United States will not stand idly by while his government continues to foment chaos in Darfur, buying itself time with empty promises while one of the world’s worst human rights and humanitarian crises continues to unfold within its borders.
“By sanctioning 31 additional companies owned and controlled by the Sudanese government as well as two senior Sudanese government officials, we are demonstrating that their assistance to and roles in the government’s genocidal campaign are unacceptable. I also applaud the President’s decision to sanction the leader of the Justice and Equality rebel movement, who has played a direct and damaging role in the violence in Darfur.
“While this new round of sanctions is a positive step, it remains a small one and must be followed by other actions. I strongly encourage the President to raise the Darfur genocide in all bilateral dealings, particularly with China, Sudan’s largest trading partner, and to encourage our allies at the UN, including the European Union, to follow through with similar sanctions.
"If we are to end the genocide in Darfur, we must continue to show the Sudanese government, which continues to profit from the world’s apathy on this pressing human rights crisis, that we are ready for action.”