U.S. Policies Must Help Prevent Genocide and War Atrocities
War atrocities don’t happen in a vacuum – they happen when no one steps in to stop them. Current policy and government bureaucracy leaves the U.S. ill-equipped to prevent mass atrocities and genocides.
While President Obama has taken some necessary steps to address these issues, the US must do better by building early warning systems, initiating programs that tackle the root causes of conflict and supporting preventive peacekeeping initiatives that can make a difference for those living amidst conflict.
Tell President Obama: there is no place for war atrocities in our world.
In 1994, over 800,000 people died in the Rwandan genocide. Countless others fell victim to atrocities of war. This unfathomable cruelty took place under our watch- and it continues to leave a sad mark on our country, one deeply committed to human rights.
That’s why I’m asking you to take the lead in designing strategies and building tools that will prevent atrocities like these from ever happening again. Most people believe that mass atrocities and genocide have no place in a civilized world and must be prevented. Unfortunately, it is not enough for governments and the world community to agree that genocide and mass atrocities must not happen.
Years of underinvestment in civilian tools like diplomacy and development, along with the prioritization of narrow interests over the human rights of others, have crippled the US government's ability to help prevent atrocities around the globe. When a country is at risk of mass violence the US should be able to quickly develop and implement strategies for addressing it before the killing begins. This means building an effective mass atrocities early warning system, investing development dollars in programs that tackle the root causes of conflict, facilitating negotiations between adversaries, or engaging with regional and international partners in preventive peacekeeping initiatives.
Please, set an example for the rest of the world by supporting atrocity prevention initiatives that can make a difference for the most vulnerable in countries at risk.
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