Groups laud candidates on Darfur statement

Jewish groups praised the three major presidential candidates for jointly calling on Sudan to end genocide in Darfur.

The statement signed by U.S. Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) calls on the Sudanese government to end the obstructions it has placed against the deployment of peacekeepers and to control its allied militias carrying out the slaughter.

“As we campaign for president of the United States over the next several months, we expect there to be significant focus on the many differences between us,” said the statement, which was posted Wednesday on SaveDarfur.org. “It is with this awareness that we are taking the uncommon step of issuing a joint statement about an issue. After more than five years of genocide, the Sudanese government and its proxies continue to commit atrocities against civilians in Darfur.”

Jewish groups, which have been at the forefront of raising Darfur awareness, praised the statement.

“This statement is a major step in the right direction,” the American Jewish World Service, the Jewish group leading Darfur activism, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with whoever becomes our next president on developing a plan of action that includes a fully deployed peacekeeping force, stronger international sanctions against Sudan, continued stability in South Sudan and increased pressure on China as Sudan’s largest supplier of money and weaponry.”

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for public policy groups, also weighed in.

“We recognize the unique circumstance of having all the candidates unified on this issue leading up to the general election, and we believe this unity reflects the overwhelming American public commitment to ending the genocide,” said JCPA chairwoman Andrea Weinstein.

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