Hill Leaders Pledge Support to Help End Sudan's Civil War

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House Majority leader Dick Armey yesterday pledged his support for a bipartisan effort to end the 18-year-old civil war in Sudan, in which 2 million people have died.

"It's a nightmare of unspeakable proportions," said the Texas Republican.

Mr. Armey was joined by Reps. Donald M. Payne, New Jersey Democrat; Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican; Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican; and Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat; and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Democrat.

"It should be clear to the world," Mr. Armey said, "that there is bipartisan support to make peace in Sudan."

As part of an effort to make Sudan a U.S. foreign policy priority, Mr. Tancredo has introduced a bill, the Sudan Peace Act, in the House. The bill calls for U.S. leadership in the peace process and relief efforts for the many homeless. It also condemns human rights violations committed by the Sudanese government.

"This is one way to lend the administration the tools they need," Mr. Tancredo said.

He said he had "witnessed the dire situation in Sudan with my own eyes" and "I echo the statements made by Secretary [Colin] Powell just over 10 days ago that there is no greater tragedy on the face of the Earth than the one unfolding in Sudan."

Of concern to all the lawmakers is the slave trade carried out by northern Sudanese Arab mercenaries against ethnic peoples in southern Sudan.

"You can buy slaves in 2001," said Mr. Wolf. "And that's a fact."

"We thought we were done with this awful practice," Mr. Armey said.

Since the Khartoum government has declared jihad, or holy war, many of those targeted for slavery or torture are Christians.

"No civilized nation anywhere in the world can tolerate that," said Mr. …