Peace in Darfur Requires Bold Action (Sen. Joe Biden)

This week the President announced a plan to expand U.S. sanctions against the Sudanese government.  While these sanctions are a step in the right direction, alone they are not enough to stop the violence against the people of Darfur.  In his speech, the President also promised to seek a new U.N. Security Council resolution; that resolution could have a greater impact than these expanded U.S. sanctions, if it is hard hitting enough.

We should lead the international community in enforcing a No-Fly Zone, imposing multilateral sanctions through the U.N., shepherding negotiations among all the parties for a lasting peace settlement, finding the forces for a peacekeeping mission, and, if necessary, committing U.S. troops on the ground to support these efforts and ensure humanitarian access.  I recognize that there are logistical obstacles and humanitarian concerns involved in this more aggressive approach:  international assistance to Darfur hangs by a thread and we must take careful steps to ensure that aid continues to reach those in need.

The United Nations has authorized a peacekeeping mission of 20,000 troops and additional police forces for Sudan.  I recently met with the U.N. Secretary General and urged him to move rapidly to raise these forces and get them into Darfur.  The international community must step up to its responsibility and deploy the troops and equipment. Peace in Darfur requires a global response and bold action.  The U.S. can and will play a major role, but so must the United Nations and the African Union.  We also need a sustained, coordinated diplomatic effort, which will bring the rebels together and build a lasting peace that works for the people of Darfur.