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CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN PRESS CONFERENCE

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At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in the HVC Studio A, The Capitol.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) will call on President Obama to send President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to South Sudan to help resolve the ongoing crisis, which is eerily reminiscent of the genocide that started to unfold in Rwanda 20 years ago this month.

Wolf, who has travelled six times to Sudan and South Sudan and has long been recognized in Congress for his work in this region, has been in contact with an expert who was in South Sudan in recent days and witnessed the atrocities taking place.  He has shared graphic photos of mass killings, some which Wolf will show at the press conference.

“President Obama must do more to resolve this crisis,” Wolf said.  “America helped give birth to South Sudan.  We have a moral obligation to act.  The killing must stop.  Both sides are at fault and by immediately dispatching President Clinton and President Bush to help negotiate a halt to these killings, we would unequivocally convey to the long-suffering people of that nation that this is a U.S. foreign policy priority.”

“If President Obama does not do something he will have to go to South Sudan and apologize for what happened like President Clinton did in Rwanda in March of 1998,” Wolf continued.  “President Clinton has called what happened in Rwanda ‘his personal failure.’  If nothing is done to stop the senseless killing in South Sudan, it will be on President Obama’s conscience.”

Wolf for months has been pushing the Obama Administration to do more.  In December, he publically called on Secretary of State Kerry to enlist the help of President Bush and the Bush Presidential Center to engage the leaders of South Sudan to bring an end to the crisis, highlighting the fact that intensive diplomacy during the Bush Administration in negotiating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) resulted in lasting relationships between the Bush team and the current leadership of South Sudan.

“I have not only read about the massacres but have heard directly from a reliable source on the ground,” Wolf said.  “I have heard of civilians, including women and children, indiscriminately targeted and killed; I learned of houses of worship turned from places of sanctuary to mass graves; I have been told of ethnic divisions that now run so deep they could take a generation to heal.  I have to believe cables are being sent to Washington that tell this same story.  People who are in a position to help know what is happening.  It is time to do something, or this is going to be Rwanda all over again.

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