WASHINGTON A bipartisan group of U.S. senators called for an Olympic truce in Darfur during the Beijing Olympics.
The senators introduced a resolution Thursday that urges China to pressure trading partner Sudan to end the violence that has claimed an estimated 300,000 lives and displaced 2.7 million others.
"The Chinese government hoped to show the world a new China with the Olympics, but instead the spotlight will be on their same old policies that disregard the rights of human beings," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., one of the resolution's sponsors.
"It would be a tremendous step toward peace and human rights across the globe if China, joined by the international community, would commit to helping to bring an end to the bloodshed in Darfur and elsewhere in Africa."
The resolution was welcomed by Team Darfur, a group of athletes urging Sudan and China to observe the truce, a tradition that dates to the ancient Olympics.
"With the U.S. behind the Olympic truce, we hope that more countries will join in the efforts to give the people of Darfur a chance at lasting peace," said 2006 speedskating gold medalist Joey Cheek, co-founder of Team Darfur.