FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Susan Morgan, 617 797 0451, firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. RESPONSE TO SUDAN’S BOMBING IN S. SUDAN “INADEQUATE”
Action to protect needed after months of recent attacks on civilians
CITIES NATIONWIDE – November 10, 2011 – Act for Sudan, a bipartisan, interfaith alliance of American and Sudanese advocacy organizations, has issued the following statement regarding the United States’ response to the bombing of a refugee camp and other sites in South Sudan by the Sudanese Armed Forces. The U.S. response, issued by the State Department said, in part, “This attack only further emphasizes the need for an immediate halt to indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas by the Sudan Armed Forces, and a resolution to the conflict through a resumption of political talks.”
Martina Knee, a spokeswoman and member of Act for Sudan stated:
The time for depending on only political talks to resolve the ongoing and multiple attacks by the Sudanese government on innocent civilians has long since passed. Condemnation by the U.S. government is inadequate. Instead, the United States should channel its concern into immediately leading the international community to act to stop attacks by the government of Sudan and to protect civilians now.
Sudan’s National Congress Party has a decades-long track record of not honoring its agreements. This track record makes political talks effectively meaningless. Sudanese civilians and diaspora around the world and international experts on Sudan have for years made clear that the NCP understands only credible threats and adverse actions against its own members. It is past time to listen to Sudanese and take these actions.
The United States must work with its allies, including within the African Union, to end continued impunity of al-Bashir’s government in attacking its own civilians and now civilians of another sovereign nation. The United States should take all necessary steps to prioritize protecting civilians and providing necessary aid.
Recently, Act for Sudan coordinated an open letter to President Obama signed by 66 organizations across the country asking the United States to urgently address civilian protection and humanitarian assistance for millions of Sudanese facing government-sponsored attacks and obstruction of humanitarian assistance.
The urgency of the letter is underscored by the dire and underreported current events in Sudan, particularly in the regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The letter stated, “hundreds of thousands of civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile face relentless aerial attacks, violent displacement, and starvation due to the Sudanese government’s ongoing military assaults.”
Among other recommendations, the letter asked Obama to instruct the National Security Council to accelerate decisions and related actions regarding protection of Nuba, Blue Nile, and Darfuri populations from air attacks and to seriously consider the destruction of offensive aerial assets and/or the imposition of a no-fly zone. It also requested the immediate initiation of a cross border emergency aid program to the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, Blue Nile and Abyei regions.
“We believe the United States is not doing enough to uphold its responsibility to protect innocent civilians from atrocities perpetrated by the Sudanese government,” the letter stated. “We, therefore, respectfully request that your Administration make it a top priority to provide the necessary protection and change the ruthless political calculations of the National Congress Party.” Further, the signatories to the letter stated that they are “deeply concerned and distressed by the Obama Administration’s current Sudan policy in the face of ongoing government-sponsored genocide that has spanned more than two decades and resulted in the death and displacement of millions of people.”
Act for Sudan is an alliance of American citizen activists and Sudanese U.S. residents who advocate for an end to genocide and mass atrocities in Sudan. Act for Sudan is dedicated to advocacy that is directly informed by the situation on the ground and by Sudanese people who urgently seek protection, justice, and peace. For more information please visit www.actforsudan.org.