By Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis
April 21, 2006

We are issuing this statement out of our concern for the people of Sudan and in particular for the people who are in the Darfur region of Sudan where more than 300,000 persons have died during the past 3 years as a result of civil war, drought, and the apparent difficulty in getting ample humanitarian aid to those most in need.

Unfortunately, there is not enough public awareness about the unfolding situation in Darfur. We are working with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network to make more people aware about the fact that thousands more will die in Darfur if more is not done urgently to bring peace and humanitarian relief to this devastated region.

We are also working to promote dialogue between the government of Sudan and all the warring factions in hopes that a safe and secure relief route to Darfur can be established and effectively protected. Thirdly, we support the presence of the African Union peacekeeping forces in conjunction with the United Nations in Darfur to help alleviate the suffering of the people.

We must rise above any temptation to use the tragic situation in Darfur for political motives, economic greed or religious prejudice. We must also not let the reality of large quantities of gold, uranium, oil and other natural resources in Sudan jeopardize or distort the first priority of giving the thousands of people in Darfur life-saving water, food, and protective shelter. Every human life is precious in Sudan, throughout Africa and everywhere in the world. We believe that more should be done now to resolve the conflicts in Sudan and to respond compassionately and comprehensively to the human suffering in Darfur.