Menendez Applauds New Jersey Community For Raising Awareness On Darfur Genocide

Menendez Applauds New Jersey Community For Raising Awareness On Darfur Genocide

Sen. Menendez to meet the U.S. Special Envoy to Darfur today to continue pressure for change

Newark - Today, the New Jersey Coalition Responds to the Crisis in Darfur held a torch-lighting ceremony in Newark, NJ to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur and the relationship between the Sudanese regime and China, which will host the Olympic Games next year. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a leader on this issue in the Foreign Relations Committee, could not be there in person due to Senate votes in Washington, but a representative from his office attended and read a letter from the Senator. Additionally, Sen. Menendez today will be meeting with U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Ambassador Andrew Natsios, to maintain the pressure to end the violence in Darfur.

"My dream for Darfur is that with the harbinger of a bright shining torch of the Olympic flame, the Chinese government will be moved to take an important stand against this terrible tragedy. May today's flames in New Jersey also ignite the world to collectively move our efforts from the back burner to the forefront of our concern," said Menendez.

Senator Menendez has stood up against the suffering in Darfur. This year, he authored a successful resolution with Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) urging the Chinese government to use its leverage for peace in Darfur ( The resolution focuses on China's responsibility to uphold the spirit of the Olympics as the host of the 2008 games.

The New Jersey Lights the Torch for Darfur event was a gesture of unity and hope which brought together survivors, native Darfurians, community leaders, students and public officials to voice their concern for the people of Darfur. It was the New Jersey leg of the Olympic Torch Relay, an initiative of Dream for Darfur and the Save Darfur Coalition, which is staging similar events around the world.