Save Darfur Coalition: New Save Darfur Ad Campaign

General July 18, 2007

>Video of the New Ad: www.savedarfur.org/pages/bashir_lies_darfur_dies

NEW SAVE DARFUR AD: ‘WHILE BASHIR LIES, DARFUR DIES’

Coalition urges world leaders to hold dictator to his Darfur agreements

WASHINGTON – The Save Darfur Coalition today launched a national advertising campaign reminding world leaders of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s consistent pattern of breaking promises and agreements on Darfur. The ads, which begin today on CNN, Fox News Channel and Washington-area television and will tomorrow appear in the Washington Post, New York Times and Washington Times, urge the international community to hold the dictator to his word and allow U.N peacekeepers into Darfur. The ads can be viewed at: www.savedarfur.org/pages/bashir_lies_darfur_dies/ .

“President al-Bashir has signed agreements with the international community only to reverse himself before the ink was dry,” said retired ambassador Lawrence Rossin, Save Darfur Coalition senior international coordinator. “He has shown over and over how easily a dictator can get away with genocide while lying to world leaders and pay no price for it. Now, Secretary-General Ban and U.N. Security Council ambassadors tell us they have a deal with Bashir on U.N. peacekeepers. That's great news for the people of Darfur if it's true, but already al-Bashir shows signs that he will not keep that deal.”

The coalition last month expressed deep skepticism over the announced agreement on Darfur peacekeeping forces between the African Union, United Nations and Sudanese government, citing previous, similar assurances from al-Bashir. The new round of advertisements will renew the call for accountability, underscoring the need for less talk and more action to resolve the ongoing Darfur crisis.

In addition to the advertisements, the Save Darfur Coalition also released a multi-paged fact report detailing several – but not all – of al-Bashir’s broken promises to the international community and the people of Darfur. The report includes multiple examples of al-Bashir agreeing to ceasefires with rebel forces only to violate them soon thereafter with aerial bombardments of villages and other military assaults. The document also notes al-Bashir’s various “agreements” to the AU - U.N. hybrid peacekeeping force – agreements that were quickly qualified and eventually altogether rejected. The fact report can be viewed at: www.savedarfur.org/pages/bashir_lies_darfur_dies/ .

“World leaders must compel al-Bashir to fulfill this agreement this time, and allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur. Too many Darfuri lives hang in the balance to allow him to break his word, yet again,” Rossin said.

The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate with more than 400,000 newly displaced people in the last year. Four million people are now affected by the crisis, which has spread from Sudan into Chad and the Central African Republic, and almost a quarter of these cannot get humanitarian assistance because of insecurity

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About the Save Darfur Coalition – The Save Darfur Coalition raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. It is an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org. To obtain footage from the Darfur border region, coalition events, various interviews, and more, please visit the Save Darfur Coalition media gallery at http://media.savedarfur.org. All footage may be previewed in non-broadcast quality and may be purchased in broadcast quality by filling out the purchase request form provided on the site.

About retired ambassador Lawrence Rossin – Retired ambassador Lawrence G. Rossin is the senior international coordinator for the Save Darfur Coalition. In this capacity, he is responsible for designing and leading implementation of the Coalition’s outreach to foreign governments and non-governmental organizations to advocate on behalf of the people of Darfur. Ambassador Rossin came to the Coalition from the United Nations, where he was Assistant Secretary General and Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and before that for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Before working for the United Nations, Ambassador Rossin had a 29-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service. He was Chief of Mission in Kosovo, American Ambassador to Croatia and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and served on the National Security Council staff (as Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Southwest Asia, and earlier as Director for Inter-American Affairs). Ambassador Rossin was extensively involved in Balkans diplomacy, in Washington and in the field, and earlier in crisis resolution in Haiti and Grenada