December 11, 2012

HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS ASK OBAMA FOR U.S. SUDAN POLICY SHIFT

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HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS ASK OBAMA FOR U.S. SUDAN POLICY SHIFT

At onset of second term, policy “revamp” needed to stop mass atrocities

WASHINGTON, DC – December 11, 2012 – As President Obama transitions to his second term in office, human rights organizations across the country and Sudan experts sent the president an open letter requesting a shift in the U.S. Sudan policy and covering specific issues that they believe should be urgently addressed.  The letter cites “grave concerns that the current U.S. policy is ineffective at stopping mass atrocities in Sudan.”

The letter was signed by 76 U.S.-based organizations, 12 genocide scholars and other notable human rights advocates. Among those signing were Roger P. Winter, Former U.S. Special Representative on Sudan; genocide experts Eric Reeves, Gregory Stanton and Samuel Totten; Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih, U.S. Department of State 2012 International Women of Courage Award Winner and actress Mia Farrow. The letter was coordinated by Act for Sudan, a bipartisan, interfaith alliance of American and Sudanese grassroots advocacy groups.

“In your first term, your administration pursued a policy of engagement, marked by conciliatory diplomacy,” the letter states. “Under the oversight of two Special Envoys, this policy has failed to stop the government of Sudan from committing ongoing mass atrocities. We now ask that you revamp your Sudan policy to address the root cause of Sudan’s multiple conflicts, the repressive and genocidal Sudan regime.”

Specifically, the letter requests that the Obama administration: deliver humanitarian aid to starving Sudanese civilians with or without agreement from the government of Sudan or the U.N. Security Council; instruct the National Security Council to accelerate decisions and related actions regarding protection of vulnerable populations from air attacks and to seriously consider the destruction of Sudan’s offensive aerial assets and/or the imposition of a no-fly zone pursuant to the responsibility to protect doctrine; support an end to the NCP regime’s control of the government of Sudan and support the movement within Sudan for democratic transformation; oppose debt relief and cash transfers to the government of Sudan, and demonstrate strong leadership to end the government-sponsored violence in Sudan, protect civilians in Sudan and South Sudan, ensure unhindered humanitarian access for those in need, and bring the perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities to justice at the International Criminal Court.

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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.

Full text of letter with signatories:

December 11, 2012

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

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned human rights organizations and Sudan experts have grave concerns that the current U.S. policy is ineffective at stopping mass atrocities in Sudan. We write in the hope that the transition to your second term in office will bring an urgent shift in the U.S. policy to finally end the humanitarian crises and bring about a just and lasting peace in Sudan.

As you know, genocide continues in Sudan. The National Congress Party (NCP) regime in Sudan, led by a president indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, is causing the death, starvation, displacement, and destruction of livelihood of Sudanese civilians in Darfur, Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and the Blue Nile state.

When speaking about Sudan in 2007 you called the genocide in Darfur a “stain on our souls” and said that “as a president of the United States I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” Vice President Biden, the same year, called for military force in Darfur. Yet five years later, the same genocidal regime, whose grave human rights abuses have been left unchecked by the international community, is emboldened to continue to perpetrate atrocities, not only in Darfur but now in Sudan’s border regions.

In your first term, your administration pursued a policy of engagement, marked by conciliatory diplomacy. Under the oversight of two Special Envoys, this policy has failed to stop the government of Sudan from committing ongoing mass atrocities.

We now ask that you revamp your Sudan policy to address the root cause of Sudan’s multiple conflicts, the repressive and genocidal Sudan regime.

Specifically, we ask that your administration:

  1. Deliver humanitarian aid to the starving Sudanese civilians in the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile State, with or without agreement from the government of Sudan or the U.N. Security Council, with multilateral partners or unilaterally, and with the urgency required to save starving people.
  2. 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 Sudan’s offensive aerial assets and/or the imposition of a no-fly zone pursuant to the responsibility to protect doctrine.
  3. Support an end to the NCP regime’s control of the government of Sudan and support the movement within Sudan for democratic transformation.
  4. Oppose debt relief and cash transfers to the government of Sudan, thereby increasing pressure on that government and strengthening the effects of U.S. sanctions.
  5. Demonstrate strong leadership to end the government-sponsored violence in Sudan, protect civilians in Sudan and South Sudan, ensure unhindered humanitarian access for those in need, and bring the perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities to justice at the International Criminal Court.

The government of Sudan’s blatant and longstanding abuse of its citizens and disregard for the international community clearly defines the nature of that government. Sudan’s repeated failure to abide by the outcome of negotiations is a well-established pattern. After 23 years of mass atrocities committed by President Bashir and his government, it is long past time for the United States and the international community to confront Bashir and the NCP and bring an end to their mass atrocities.
Sincerely,

Act for Sudan
Martina Knee, Co-Founder
USA

African Soul, American Heart
Debra Dawson, President
Fargo, ND, USA

Americans Against the Darfur Genocide
Nikki Serapio, Director
Washington, DC, USA

Amnesty Group 133
Robert Saulnier
Somerville, MA, USA

Dr. Kjell Anderson
Senior Researcher/Project Leader, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Member, Advisory Board International Association of Genocide Scholars
The Hague, The Netherlands

Armenian Assembly of America
Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director
Washington, DC, USA

Beja Organization for Human Rights and Development
Ibrahim T. Ahmed, Co-founder and Executive Director
Fairfax, VA, USA

Blue Nile Association of North America
Abdalla Babikir
Washington, DC, USA

Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan
Laura Limuli, Coordinator
Brooklyn, NY, USA

“Change the world. It just takes cents” TM
Sara Caine Kornfeld, Founder/Educator
Denver, CO, USA

Christian Solidarity International – USA
Rev. Heidi McGinness, Director of Outreach
Denver, CO, USA

Church Alliance for a New Sudan, The Institute on Religion and Democracy
Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director
Washington, DC, USA

Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action
Roz Duman, Founder/Director
Denver, CO, USA

Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur
Timothy Oslovich, Chairperson
Vernon, CT, USA

Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy
Mohamed Yahya, Executive Director
Falls Church, VA, USA

Darfur Action Group of SC
Richard Sribnick, Chairman
Columbia, SC, USA

Darfur and Beyond
Cory Williams, Co-Founder
Phoenix, AZ, USA

Darfur Association
Adam Omer, President
Lincoln, NE, USA

Darfur Association of the USA
Dr. Mahmoud Braima, President
Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Darfur Assocication
Ahmed Adam Ali
Denver, CO, USA

Darfur Community Organization
Bakheit A. Shata, Founder/Executive Director
Omaha, NE, USA

Darfur Human Rights Organization of the USA
Abdelgabar Adam, Founder and President
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Darfur Interfaith Network
Richard Young, Co-Chair
Washington, DC, USA

Darfur Leaders Network (DLN)
Motasim Adam, Director
Washington, DC, USA

Darfur People’s Association of New York
Ahmat Nour, President
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Darfur Solidarity USA
Mohammed Ahmed Eisa, Executive Director
Cambridge, MA, USA

Darfur Women Action Group
Niemat Ahmadi, President
Washington, DC, USA

Darfurian Association of Greater Houston
Sallah Yahya, Executive Director
Houston, TX, USA

Dear Sudan, Love Marin
Gerri Miller, Founder and Coordinator
Tiburon, CA, USA

Tanya L. Domi
Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
New York, NY, USA

Dr. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe
Independent Scholar, Author of Biafra Revisited (Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2006) and Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature (Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2011)
London, England

Essex County Coalition for Darfur
Gloria Crist, Co-Founder
Montclair, NJ, USA

Mia Farrow
Actor
CT, USA

Fur Cultural Revival
El-Fadel Arbab, Executive Director and Lecturer
Portland, ME, USA

Genocide No More
Marv Steinberg, Coordinator
Redding, CA, USA

Genocide Watch, George Mason University
Dr. Gregory Stanton, President
Arlington, VA, USA

GeNoticed
Elizabeth Blackney, Co-Founder, Author and Anti-genocide advocate
Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide
Melanie Nelkin, Chair
Atlanta, GA, USA

Harry Potter Alliance
Andrew Slack, Executive Director
Somerville, MA, USA

Help Nuba
Rabbi David Kaufman, Founder
Des Moines, IA, USA

Dr. Rick Halperin
Director, Embrey Human Rights Program, Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX, USA

Herbert Hirsch
Professor of Political Science and Co-Editor, Genocide Studies and Prevention, Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA, USA

Human Rights & Advocacy Network for Democracy (HAND)
Abdalmageed Haroun, Chairperson
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Humanity is Us
Kimberly Hollingsworth, Founder
New York, NY, USA

Idaho Darfur Coalition
A. J. Fay, Co-Founder
Boise, ID, USA

International Justice Project
Raymond Brown, President
Newark, NJ, USA

Investors Against Genocide
Eric Cohen, Chairperson
Boston, MA, USA

Iowa Center for Genocide Prevention
Kristen Anderson, Founder & 2011 Carl Wilkens Fellow
Des Moines, IA, USA

Jewish World Watch
Vaughan Meyer, Advocacy Committee Chair
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Jews Against Genocide
Eileen Weiss, Co-founder
New York, NY, USA

Joining Our Voices
Jack Slater Armstrong, Founder/Director
Baton Rouge, LA, USA

George Kent
Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI, USA

Keokuk for Global Awareness and Aid
Blake McGhghy, Co-Founder
Keokuk, IA, USA

Mr. David Kilgour
J.D., Former Canadian Secretary of State for Africa
Ottawa, Canada

Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur
William Rosenfeld, Director
Boston, MA, USA

Winter Miller
Writer
Greenfield, MA, USA

Paul Mojzes, Ph.D., D.D
Professor of Religious Studies and Genocide Scholar, Rosemont College
Rosemont, PA, USA

Never Again Coalition
Diane Koosed, Co-Chair
Portland, OR, USA

New York Coalition for Darfur and All Sudan
Neiki Ullah, Communications Director
New York, NY, USA

New York Darfur Vigil Group
Helga Moor, Coordinator
New York, NY, USA

Nuba Mountain Peace Coalition
Tito Elgassai, Founder
Dallas, TX, USA

Nuba Mountains Advocacy Group, USA
Abdelgadir Kurba, Secretary General
New York, NY, USA

Nuba Mountains International Association USA
Magid Kabashi, Secretary for Information
Ashburn, VA, USA

Nuba Vision Coalition, Inc
Yassir A. Kori, Founder & Executive Director
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Nubia Project
Nuraddin Abdelmannan, President
Silver Spring, MD, USA

NYC Genocide Prevention Coalition
Staci M. Alziebler-Perkins, Convener
NY, NY, USA

Operation Broken Silence
Mark C. Hackett, CEO, Executive Director
Memphis, TN, USA

Eric Reeves
Sudan Researcher
Northampton, MA, USA

Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih
U.S. Department of State 2012 International Women of Courage Award Winner
Flemington, NJ, USA

San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition
Mohamed Suleiman, President
San Francisco, CA, USA

Save Darfur Washington State
Ned Laskowski, President
Seattle, WA, USA

Shine a Ray of Hope
Carmen Paolercio, Coordinator
New Rochelle, NY, USA

Robert Skloot
Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI, USA

Society for Threatened People
Sharon Silber, US Representative
New York, NY, USA

Stop Genocide Now
Gabriel Stauring, Director and Founder
Redondo Beach, CA, USA

Sudan Advocacy Action Forum

Dr. Eleanor Wright, Moderator
Birmingham, AL, USA

Sudan Human Rights Network
Ismail Kardoly, Vice President
Washington, DC, USA

Sudan Liberation Movement
Shafi Aldin Mosa, Office Coordinator
Atlanta, GA, USA

Sudan Rowan Inc.
Ngor Kur Mayol, Founder
Atlanta, GA, USA

Sudan Unlimited
Esther Sprague, Director
San Francisco, CA, USA

Sudanese Marginalized Forum-USA
Gogadi Amoga, Chair
Batavia, OH, USA

The Advocates for Human Rights
Robin Phillips, Executive Director
Minneapolis, MN, USA

The Institute on Religion and Democracy
Mark Tooley, President
Washington, DC, USA

Dr. Samuel Totten
Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Author of Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains, Sudan (Transaction, 2012)
Fayetteville, AR, USA

Triangles of Truth
Simon Goldberg, Executive Director
Boca Raton, FL, USA

Unite For Darfur
Bahar Arabie, CEO, Author of Darfur, Road to Genocide
Rockville, MD, USA

United Sudanese and South Sudanese Community Association (USASSCA)
Henry Lejukole, Chairman
Des Moines, IA, USA

Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI
Sandra Hammel, Director
Portsmouth, RI, USA

Village Help for South Sudan
Franco Majok, Executive Director
Lynn, MA, USA

Voices for Sudan
Jimmy Mulla, Founder and President
Washington, DC, USA

Roger P. Winter
Former U.S. Special Representative on Sudan
Woodbine, MD, USA

CC: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice
National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations John Kerry
Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Incoming Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ed Royce
Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough
Special Envoy to Sudan Ambassador Princeton Lyman
Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris

For full list of signatories download the pdf here.