FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITIES NATIONWIDE – November 17, 2011 – American activists, Sudanese diaspora and a representative of Sudanese rebels are criticizing UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s recent statement that condemns the establishment of a new alliance of Sudan rebel movements and that states “conflict can only be resolved through political dialogue.” They also criticize the statement by Hervé Ladsous, the head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, that the rebel alliance is “counterproductive.”
According to Act for Sudan, a bipartisan, interfaith alliance of American and Sudanese advocacy organizations, the United Nations for decades has not fulfilled its responsibility to protect the marginalized people of Sudan from attacks by their own government. It also points to the hypocrisy of the UN Security Council that acted to support armed Libyan rebels but offers only condemnation to Sudanese rebels responding to a genocidal regime.
“In condemning the new rebel alliance and calling for more fruitless talks, Secretary General Ban and the United Nations fail to acknowledge both that the government is the primary aggressor in Sudan’s internal conflicts and the positive development of an alliance of marginalized Sudanese calling for an end to oppression despite the Khartoum regime’s attempts to turn them against each other,” states Martina Knee, a spokeswoman and member of Act for Sudan. “Sudan’s National Congress Party has a decades-long track record of not honoring its agreements nor countless ceasefires in all regions. This track record makes political dialogue effectively meaningless.”
Act for Sudan also asserts that the government of Sudan is using food as a weapon of war by blocking humanitarian access to conflict areas. “The member states of the United Nations should be taking all necessary steps to prioritize protecting civilians and provide necessary humanitarian aid,” states Knee.
Yasir Arman, Secretary General of the SPLM-N and a Member of the High Political Committee of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, also expressed concern regarding the UN statement. “We are surprised and we deeply regret the statement coming out from the United Nations,” states Arman. “Instead of supporting the victims and the right of the Sudanese people to democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, it is supporting the aggressors and war criminals including Bashir who is wanted by the ICC. We are expecting the UN to help by bringing them to justice and by protecting civilians and by opening corridors for food.
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.
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.