Joint Statement by Lantos Commission Co-Chairs McGovern and Pitts on Sudanese Officials Attending the Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, February 5th
As Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, we are deeply alarmed by reports that two alleged perpetrators of genocide in Sudan, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti and Dr. Ibrahim Ghandur of the ruling National Congress Party, have been invited to the National Prayer Breakfast. Quite simply, these officials should not have been invited to attend an event held in the name of the U.S. Congress, which has passed legislation denouncing the Sudanese government for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. This breakfast, an occasion where the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be recognized, should be a moment to ensure that the words `Never Again!’ have genuine meaning. We call upon all participants at the National Prayer Breakfast, including the President of the United States, to publicly and forcefully denounce the continuing human rights crimes being carried out in Sudan by the government of Omar al-Bashir, especially the atrocities taking place on a near daily basis in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.