FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Donations will “help to fund more atrocities against civilians,”
March 22, 2013 – As Qatar prepares for a donors conference in Doha on April 7 – 8 to promote investments in the Darfur region of Sudan, human rights organizations, genocide scholars and Sudan advocates around the world sent open letters to the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and the President of the African Development Bank Group, Donald Kaberuka, asking that the conference be cancelled. The letters state, “Efforts to promote investments in Sudan are premature and put the international community at risk of funding a government that continues to perpetrate massive human rights violations against its own people. Such investments should not occur prior to a cessation of attacks on civilians, the granting of unhindered humanitarian access across Sudan, and a clear demonstration of progress on all remaining issues, including an inclusive constitutional review process followed by free and fair elections.”
The letters have 84 signatories including international rights organizations, Sudanese diaspora organizations, genocide scholars and other notable human rights advocates. Among those signing are Dr. Mukesh Kapila, former UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan and now a Special Representative for Aegis Trust; Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih, U.S. Department of State 2012 International Women of Courage Award Winner; Baroness Caroline Cox, Independent Peer in the House of Lords of the UK Parliament and CEO of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust; and Mia Farrow, Actor.
The letters were coordinated by Act for Sudan, a bipartisan, interfaith alliance of American and Sudanese grassroots advocacy groups, with extensive input from Diaspora Darfuri communities who remain closely in touch with their families in Darfur, as well as with civil society groups and NGOs who have been following the Darfur crisis for more than a decade.
“Genocide continues in Sudan, “ the letters state. “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.”
The letters note that “previous Darfur donors’ conferences collected billions of dollars, but there are no signs on the ground today of how those billions of dollars were spent. Instead, the money, after falling in the hands of the central government, is used against the people of Darfur to fund aerial bombardments and militia attacks.”
Instead, the letters recommend that “Qatar’s influence should be used to reach Darfuris in the Diaspora, the main rebel factions, and the Internally Displaced Persons inside Darfur and refugees in Chad to reach a consensus of how to meet the demands of Darfuri people in providing security, protection, accountability, and a just and lasting peace.”
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.