Menendez Hails U.N. Security Council Darfur Vote

Menendez Hails U.N. Security Council Darfur Vote

Senator: UN vote brings besieged region one step closer to peace

Washington - United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today praised the United Nations Security Council for voting to deploy a UN peacekeeping force to the Darfur region of the Sudan. The Security Councils vote coincides with ongoing peace negotiations in the war-torn region and is preceded by several years of genocide, with an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 murders and approximately two million displaced from their homes.

"Todays vote is not just for a peacekeeping force," Menendez said. "Todays vote is a vote for peace, a vote for humanity, and a vote for rejecting the evils of genocide. I support the efforts by the UN Security Council and implore them to continue their efforts to restore normalcy and humanity to Darfur."

Menendez, along with Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Barack Obama (D-IL), earlier this month successfully introduced an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill that provided $60 million to fund a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The amendment makes funds immediately available, pending United Nations authorization of a peacekeeping mission to Darfur. The Senate budget supplemental bill must be reconciled with its counterpart from the House of Representatives.

An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 people have been murdered and another two million displaced in Darfur, a Sudanese region the size of Texas. Seven thousand African Union troops have been deployed to the region yet lack the financial and logistical resources necessary to control the situation. Their force is under-funded, under-equipped, and lacks a mandate to protect civilians. The Darfur amendment ensures that when a U.N. mission is authorized and deployed, it has the resources, and the troops necessary to secure peace and protect the people of Darfur.

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