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Hunger strike protects others

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, March 14, 2005

On March 16, students from Notre Dame will join thousands of citizens from across the nation in the largest one-day hunger strike in the U.S. history. The hunger strike is intended to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Darfur, to grieve over enforced starvation in Sudan and to generate enough media attention and political will to address the crisis in Darfur.The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate. It is estimated that over 300,000 people have died since conflict between rebel groups and government forces began in February 2003. Since that time, the government-supported Janjaweed militia have indiscriminately attacked civilians and villages in the Darfur region in a campaign that the U.S. government has called genocide.The genocide in Sudan is a preventable conflict. Millions of lives can be saved by a little political will and smart action by Western nations. Next week, Congress will consider passing the Darfur Accountability Act of 2005. The legislation calls on the United States to support the expansion of the African peacekeeping force, to impose focused sanctions on the government of Sudan and to press the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on “perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Darfur.” It is essential for the protection of the people of Darfur that this bill passes.As citizens living in an increasingly interconnected world, we have a responsibility to protect the people of Darfur because the Sudanese government is unwilling or unable. The hunger strike on Wednesday is one way for concerned citizens to urge policy makers to take action in Darfur. If you would like to join in the national movement, please take the time to sign up at www.darfurgenocide.org/MarchStrike.html.We have the ability to urge policy makers to pass legislation that will save thousands of lives in a preventable crisis. It is right that we do this and everything in our power towards that end.

Patrick CorriganThe Sudan Steering CommitteesophomoreKeenan HallMar. 14