For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Michael Stulman (202) 546-7961

US to Serve over Presidency of UN Security Council

Africa Action urges President Obama to assert leadership to end the violence against women in Sudan

September, the U.S. is set to assume the rotating presidency of the
Nations Security Council (UNSC).  This
comes on the heels of a trip by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to
African nations when she signaled a U.S. commitment to strengthening
rights in Africa.

Africa Action urges the Obama administration to
unveil a new
comprehensive Sudan policy, coordinated with the international
community, which
includes the protection of women as a fundamental pillar and ensures
participation in on-going and future peace negotiations. 

Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa
Action said
this morning, "In any conflict around the world, women are usually
disproportionate victims and rarely are afforded justice."
He adds,
"President Obama should seize the moment as President of the UNSC,
upon what the UNAMID is doing effectively and enable it to fulfill its

Last month, the African Union/United Nations
peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) Gender Advisory Unit worked
to reopen
women's centers in Abu Shouk camp after the government previously
closed it. Women will be able to learn
job skills, take adult
literacy classes, participate in educational
programs on
reproductive health, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Today the authorized strength of UNAMID is19,555
however, there are currently less than 14,000 troops according to its
website.  This shortfall is coupled with
limited financial and logistical support. The U.S. can support women's
by increasing funding for the Gender Advisory Unit and support more
peacekeepers to be trained and deployed. 
This would enable UNAMID to better respond to gender-based
violence and
counsel victims. 

"As President of the UNSC, President Obama
should support
on-going UN efforts to address peace and security in the region of
said Michael Stulman,
Associate Director for Policy
and Communications at Africa Action. "Rape in Sudan
has been a
systematic campaign of violence that terrorizes women.  It
has left women with physical and
psychological wounds.  Millions of
Darfuris are still affected by ongoing violence.  Greater
efforts must be made so that women's organizations based
in the region can participate in their own government processes,"
added Stulman. 

For more information and analysis, see:
Steps for the Health and Rights of Women and Youth: Alleviating Poverty
and Promoting Human Security and Stability

Action Talking Points on Darfur

Keep the Promise

Darfur: We Won't Get Fooled Again


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Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.

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