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John Prendergast

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John Prendergast, author and former State Department official, devised a three-point plan to halt the genocide in Darfur that does not involve military intervention.

Speaking to a packed auditorium at USC Gould School of Law, Prendergast notes that, "Between one and 500 thousand people have died, but we don’t know exactly because we don’t care enough to know." He later said "the crisis is intensifying."

According to Prendergast, "They are starving hundreds of thousands of people to death, and the only defense for this is humanitarian aid." However, the aid agencies are suffering from similar measures that were enacted against the people of Darfur.

In order to stop the genocide, Prendergast proposes "targeted" sanctions that function as part of a three-tiered system. The sanctions would include boycotts of specific Sudanese-based oil companies that have international holdings, asset freezes and travel restrictions on senior-level officials, and cooperation and support of the International Criminal Court to level indictments.

"There is now a multi-billion dollar oil business in southern Sudan controlled by senior officials with companies that do business in Europe and throughout the world. We can target these companies. Then there can be asset freezes and travel restrictions on senior officials. Also, the International Criminal Court relies on intelligence sharing to make its case so we need to encourage our government to do this," he says.

Prendergast claimed that international, non-military pressure was effective on the Sudanese government in the past. "When Sudan was hosting Osama bin Laden, the UN Security Council acted and bin Laden was kicked out as were the terrorist training camps," he said.

Prendergast said that letter writing rather than e-mails is a more efficacious tool in convincing Congress to act. "If a member of congress receives. 10, 20, 30 or 500 letters from constituents he will act," he said.

Prendergast concluded by saying, "all that requires is fifteen minutes per week, encourage your relatives to do it, and I think frankly, the genocide will end."

Adapted from Andrew McGregor's "Genocide in Darfur Can Be Stopped" [1]

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