Press Release - Richardson Commends Refugees International for New Report on "Laws Without Justice: An Assessment of Sudanese Laws Affecting Survivors of Rape"
SANTA FE, NM -- Democratic Presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson, while on a peace-promoting mission to Sudan in January raised concerns about reports of widespread rape in Darfur and the need for a complete analysis of the situation. As a result, Refugees International traveled to Sudan to study the issue further and 'Laws Without Justice' is the report from that mission.
"When I met with President Omar Al-Bashir in January I raised my concerns about reports of widespread rape in Darfur. President Al-Bashir denied that rape was a significant problem and urged us to go to the Sudanese Ministry of Justice for briefings on Sudan's program for dealing with rape. That wasn't good enough -- I knew that what was really needed was a comprehensive analysis of the situation in order to understand how to solve this injustice.
"I commend Refugees International on this report; it is an important contribution to the efforts to reduce rape in Darfur. It analyzes Sudan's laws governing rape and recommends a number of changes to strengthen protections for women and to reduce the impunity currently given to many rapists. This analysis provides a valuable starting point for Sudanese civil society groups working to reform the rape laws.
"The war in Darfur continues, and extensive rape is one of the unfortunate tragedies of that fighting. Sudan's recent acceptance of a hybrid peacekeeping force is one of the steps I urged President Al-Bashir to take. But he must do more, he must now follow through on his pledge to allow the hybrid force into Sudan and he must begin negotiations toward a comprehensive peace agreement in Darfur. As in the past, I stand ready to do all I can to promote peace in Darfur, once I see a good faith commitment from all parties to pursue a peace process."
Bill Richardson, Press Release - Richardson Commends Refugees International for New Report on "Laws Without Justice: An Assessment of Sudanese Laws Affecting Survivors of Rape" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/295509