Bill Would Remove State Financial Interest in Terror Regime in the Sudan
NEWARK – Senator Nia H. Gill, D-Essex and Passaic, the prime Senate sponsor of legislation that would require New Jersey to divest all state-administered pension investments held in companies with ties to the Sudanese government, issued the following statement regarding the bill signed into law today by Governor Codey:
“Today, New Jersey is taking a stand with the growing chorus of public and private institutions to call for an end to the government-sanctioned ethnic cleansing that is being perpetrated against the indigenous tribal people in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
While I am glad that New Jersey can take a leading role in such an important international cause, our involvement will not end the bloodshed and systemic human rights violations that have characterized life in Darfur.
“In Darfur, non-Arab Africans are being culled into refugee camps, where malnourishment and rampant disease flourish. Tens of thousands have been reported dead since the start of the conflict in 2003, and at least a million have fled their homes from the Janjaweed, the Arab militia that has served as the shock troops enforcing the Sudanese government’s model of ethnic purity.
“People are being tortured, killed and raped because of their cultural heritage and beliefs. Compassionate people in a rational world must stand together against such flagrant violations of the basic tenets of humanitarianism. One State is good, ten states are better, and significant national and international pressure will turn the tide towards equality and away from religious and cultural marginalism, towards peace and away from war and death.
“Today, I am calling on our fellow States to follow our lead. A large-scale, organized economic embargo of Sudan’s terror regime will get us noticed, and will show that we are united behind the concepts of freedom and equality, and against the hatred, tyranny and bigotry that lead to the subjugation of a people based on their culture or religion. With today’s bill signing, New Jersey has taken a significant step, but it cannot be the only step.
“Working together, we can overcome hatred with compassion and respect for all people. I remain optimistic that through our combined strength of message, we will be able to touch the hearts of those filled with hate, and finally begin the healing process in Darfur. The task at hand is by no means easy, but together, I am hopeful that we will be able to achieve peace in the Sudan, and turn the current conflict from fearful reality to a nightmare of the past.”