For Immediate Release
12/12/07 Contact: Allyn Brooks-LaSure, 202.478.6174
Hundreds of Iowa Caucus-Goers Ask Presidential Candidates ‘How Will You Save Darfur?’ in Ad
Iowans, state organizations insist that candidates make ending the genocide in Darfur a priority in 2008 election
WASHINGTON – In a full-page Des Moines Register advertisement, more than seven hundred Iowa caucus-goers pressed both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to outline a clear policy to end the suffering in Darfur and to make the preventing future atrocities a priority in their campaigns. The advertisement, signed by hundreds of Iowans including Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, is the latest phase of a multi-faceted voter education campaign by Darfur advocates – including the Save Darfur Coalition, the Genocide Intervention Network, American Jewish World Service, the ENOUGH Project, and STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition – that includes on-the-ground advocacy, billboard advertisements and grassroots outreach.
The advertisement can be viewed here: http://www.savedarfur.org/page/-/adpdfs/IA-Ads.pdf.
“We, the undersigned Iowa caucus-goers, call on you to: commit to outlining and implementing a clear policy to address the crisis in Darfur during your first 100 days in office; make ending the genocide in Darfur – and the prevention of future mass atrocities – a priority in your campaign; and insist that President Bush engage in full-time, active diplomacy to end the genocide,” reads the advertisement.
Today’s advertisement is a part of a larger effort to educate voters on Darfur in early primary states. Ask the Candidates (http://www.askthecandidates.org) is providing local activists in Iowa and elsewhere with the tools necessary to ensure that Darfur is a political priority in the 2008 election and that the next president is committed to stopping and preventing genocide. Additionally, Save Darfur’s Voter Education Project (http://www.savedarfur.org/candidates) urged declared presidential candidates to articulate their plans to help the people of Darfur by filming a YouTube op-ed and including a Darfur platform on their websites. To date, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; and Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M. have completed the YouTube op-eds.
“It is critical that these candidates realize that American voters are no longer willing to listen to tough talk about ending the genocide in Darfur,” said Allyn Brooks-LaSure, spokesperson for the Save Darfur Coalition. “They are making crystal clear the fact that they demand tough action from our next president that will lead to sustainable peace and security on the ground.”
In addition to the asks outlined in the advertisement, voters are demanding
that the next president work with the international community to impose
targeted sanctions on the Sudanese government; commit to upholding our
financial obligations to a U.N. peacekeeping force; deploy a high-level
diplomatic team to work full-time in the region. They are also asking the
next president to divest personal holdings from companies bankrolling the
genocide in Darfur; support the International Criminal Court by providing
declassified intelligence on those who have been indicted for committing
genocide or crimes against humanity; and ensure that the fragile peace
agreement in Southern Sudan does not unravel and extend to the rest of