September 11, 2012

Joint Letter To the President: Stop Supporting Financial Relief For Sudan

Filed under Public Statements

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The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

September 7, 2012

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned human rights organizations, are deeply concerned about the prospect of the U.S. government encouraging unconditioned pledges of financial support to Sudan to cover one third of its losses incurred as a result of separation by the South. Particularly, we are concerned about the waiving of U.S. sanctions affecting dollar transfers related to any such contributions as reported in the August 7, 2012 Financial Times article, “US seeks $3bn for Sudan oil deal.”

While we support the United States doing all that it can to increase leverage on Khartoum, including the raising of conditional funds as a motivator for reform, the U.S. government must be clear that such rewards cannot occur while Khartoum continues its crimes against civilians and as long as it fails to demonstrate clear and sustained progress on several critical issues.

Among the issues of greatest concern are the fact that unlawful attacks against civilians continue in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Darfur, and the East even as the Government of Sudan continues to restrict movement and access for international humanitarian aid organizations operating throughout Sudan. Further key issues with South Sudan remain unresolved, including final definition and demarcation of the north-south border and the final status of the Abyei area. Fighting continues with the Sudan Revolutionary Front and people across Sudan who continue to protest the current regime are denied basic rights and face arrest and torture.

The premature transfer of funds prior to a cessation of attacks on civilians, granting of unhindered humanitarian access across Sudan, clear demonstration of progress on all remaining issues, including an inclusive constitutional review process followed by free and fair elections, risks the international community funding a government that continues to perpetrate massive human rights violations against its own people and threatens the peace and stability of the greater region. The government of Sudan must first demonstrate a clear commitment over a significant period of time to ending these human rights abuses; hints and promises to that effect must be rejected as insufficient and unworthy of reward.

Act for Sudan
American Jewish World Service
United to End Genocide

cc: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon
Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough
Special Envoy to Sudan Ambassador Princeton Lyman Senior
Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power

Download the pdf of the letter here