Pelosi Statement in Support of Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the passage of H.R. 180, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, which authorizes states to divest from Sudan and bans new federal contracts with companies doing business with the government of Sudan.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 418 to 1.

‘Three years after the Bush Administration declared the situation in Darfur as genocide, the conditions continue to worsen.  It is now estimated that as many as 400,000 civilians have been killed and up to 2.5 million people have been displaced.  How many times can we say ‘never again,’ and then proceed to observe the systematic elimination of a people?

‘While there has been some diplomatic progress, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir continues to stall the deployment of a robust and fully-funded international peacekeeping force, even after expressing ‘unconditional acceptance’ of an African Union/United Nations hybrid peacekeeping force of 17,000 troops and 5,500 police.  The United States and the international community must use all available diplomatic and economic leverage to pressure the Khartoum government to allow the deployment of a new peacekeeping force.

‘The American people are demanding an end to the genocide.  State governments, universities and religious communities are leading divestment campaigns to ensure that money from American citizens will not go to a genocidal regime.  Today, I am proud to support the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007, which will authorize states to divest from Sudan, ban federal contracts to companies doing business in Sudan, and establish a list of foreign companies that conduct business in Sudan so that Americans know if they are inadvertently supporting the genocide.

‘Passage of this legislation sends a clear message to the government of Sudan that we will continue to ratchet up the pressure until the genocide ends.  We must act now while there is still an opportunity to save lives.’