As President Bush Threatens Sudanese Regime, Menendez Urges Quick Action

As President Bush Threatens Sudanese Regime, Menendez Urges Quick Action

Member of Foreign Relations Committee points to U.N. report on arms shipments into Darfur

Washington - In a speech today, President Bush threatened the Sudanese regime with sanctions but also granted it "more time" to negotiate and comply with international demands for peace. At the same time, it was reported that the United Nations has detailed the continued shipment of arms into Darfur by the regime in Khartoum. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said today that the U.N. report is further proof that the United States cannot wait indefinitely to move forward with tough actions.

The revelations of arms shipments, reported in today's New York Times, and the president's speech come on the heels of a Sudanese regime announcement yesterday that it would agree to the second phase of the Addis Ababa plan and allow 3,000 UN personnel and heavy equipment into the region.

Menendez, who last week grilled the Bush administration's special envoy for Sudan, Andrew Natsios, at a committee hearing (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=272203), said today that the Sudanese regime has gone back on its word on previous agreements and has not taken steps to bring an end to the genocide in Darfur.

"I am glad to see a concrete plan from the White House, but I wish the president had also been concrete about a timeline for the Sudanese regime to get its act together. The time for open-ended efforts and extended deadlines is over.

"We must see full enforcement of the previous Addis Ababa agreement, particularly with respect to the deployment of U.N. forces. If the regime in Khartoum does not take these steps in its talks with the United Nations, then our country must act immediately.

"The Sudanese regime has proven to be like the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf.' We cannot afford to become the same with threats that aren't followed by action. Our country cannot just look on from the sidelines indefinitely while a region and a people bleed to death."

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