May 13, 2008
MUSEUM ISSUES STATEMENT ON RECENT EVENTS IN SUDAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Recent events in Sudan, including an attack by Darfur rebel force, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in the city of Omdurman, outside the capital Khartoum, and the Sudanese government’s response, threaten to escalate and expand the ongoing genocide in Darfur, placing the civilian population at further risk. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which has played a key role in mobilizing thousands to respond to the genocide in Darfur, calls on all parties to engage in a political process that ensures a peaceful resolution.
“Protecting civilians affected by the conflict in Darfur and throughout Sudan is crucial,” said John Heffernan, Director of the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Initiative.
The May 10th attacks, perpetrated by the JEM against the Sudanese government, and reports of governmental reprisal attacks on rebel groups and civilians, threaten already deteriorating conditions both in Darfur and neighboring Chad, which the Sudanese government has accused of backing the rebels. These latest attacks also increase tensions throughout the entire country, which has only recently emerged from a two decade civil war between the North and South, costing an estimated 2 million lives.
The Museum has been actively monitoring and raising awareness about Sudan since 2000, and in 2004 issued a “Genocide Emergency” for the western region of Darfur. Since then it has been working to educate policy makers and the American public about the urgent need to take action to end the genocide there. In April 2007, the Museum partnered with Google Earth in an unprecedented online mapping initiative aimed at furthering awareness and action in the Darfur. Crisis in Darfur, enables more than 400 million Google Earth mapping service users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide in Darfur.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum strives to inspire leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. For more information, visit