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News Release.........News Release.........

F O R   I M M E D I A T E   R E L E A S E

Father Jim Goode Calls On Sudan to End Genocide and Slavery


New York City-July 6, 2004 - United Nations Plaza

Fr. Jim Goode, OFM, President of the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life, this morning, called on the Sudan government to stop the genocide and free the slaves.

Recently Secretariat of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited western Sudan where government-sponsored ethnic cleansing raids have resulted within the past twelve months in the displacement of over one million Black Africans, the death of tens of thousands and the enslavement of others.  The genocide process in Sudan has progressed in tandem with a U.S. supported peace initiative directed by the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, former Senator John Danforth.  In October 2002, President George W. Bush and both Houses of Congress identified the government of Sudan as a perpetrator of acts of “genocide”.  But since then, the U.S. government has taken no further punitive measures against Khartoum.  U.S. government officials have warned that hundred of thousands may die in the coming months.

Khartoum has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.  An estimated 1 million Black Africans have been displaced during the conflict with Arab militias backed by the Sudanese government.

The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life joins other human rights organizations by urging the United States to work closely with Sudan’s oppressed democratic opposition to restore respect for human rights; mobilize international forces to guarantee the safe return of survivors of ethnic cleansing; and to stand in the vanguard of efforts to suspend the government of Sudan’s membership of the United Nations. 

In the name of the sacredness of all human life we are appealing to the Sudanese government to end the 16 month conflict that has killed up to 30,000 people, driven more than l million from their homes and left more than one million in desperate need of aid.

It is imperative that the United States and the United Nations do everything within their power to bring an end to this humanitarian crisis.  The international community must join forces and act now.

As Black Catholics we are imploring the heavenly assistance of St. Josephine Bakhita of Sudan, canonized by Pope John Paul II, October 1, 2000 during the Jubilee Year.


                                            The End



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NBCAL Board of Consultants

Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, DD, Episcopal Advisor,
Fr. Jim Goode, OFM, Ph.D., President, Dr. Beverly A. Carroll (USCCB: SAAC),
Fr. Anthony Bozeman, (NBCCC), Supreme Lady Mary L. Briers, (KPCLA), Br. Tyrone A. Davis, CFC, (NBCCC),
Ms. Therese Wilson-Favors, NABCA, Sr. Roberta Fulton,SSMN,(NBSC), Deacon Jerry Lett, (NAAACD),
Supreme Knight Arthur McFarland, (KPC), Sr. Claire Napoleon, FMM, (NBSC), 
 Mrs. M. Annette Turner, (Pres. NABCA), Msgr. Patrick Wells, (NBCCC), Mr. Michael Youngblood, (NAACYMN),
Sr. Donna Banfield, SBS, (Pres. NBSC) Ex-officio, Fr. Chester P. Smith, SVD, (Pres. NBCCC) Ex-officio

National Black Catholic Congress
Ms. Valerie E. Washington, Executive Director
Xavier University,

Institute for Black Catholic Studies
Dr. Jamie T. Phelps, OP, Ph.D.