August 4, 2014

Letter to President Obama and Leaders of African Nations

Filed under Public Statements

Action Alert: If you are in DC, please join the rally at the Embassy of Sudan (2210 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20008) Tuesday August 5 at 2pm.

Support this letter on social media:

As #USAfrica summit underway, #Sudan diaspora & #humanrights groups ask leaders to @actforSudan to end genocide

Rally to #endgenocide at #Sudan embassy and proceed to White House. Tuesday, 8/5 #USAfrica @actforsudan

You can download the pdf of this letter here.

The Honorable Barack H. Obama  
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20600

Presidents and Prime Ministers of the African Nations invited to the U.S.-Africa Summit
c/o Each Nation’s Embassy
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Obama and Leaders of African Nations:

The undersigned representatives of the Sudanese diaspora communities and American organizations throughout the United States write to you upon the occasion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The US administration appropriately did not invite Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is subject to arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, to the Summit.

The White House states on its website that the Summit will “highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. … The theme of the Summit is ‘Investing in the Next Generation.’ Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.”

In the interest of Sudan’s next generation, which currently cannot foresee growth, opportunities or an enabling environment, we provide current information about the multiple crises in Sudan. We respectfully request that you – the US administration and the African Leaders – will include the welfare of the Sudanese people in your work during the Summit.

The Government of Sudan’s wars against its citizens that began 25 years ago — when the National Congress Party (then known as the National Islamic Front) took over by coup — continue today. The protracted crisis throughout the country is spreading again and claims more lives each day. The conflicts in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Abyei, Nubia, Khartoum and East Sudan have no realistic prospect of resolution.


  • In 2011, the Government of Sudan renewed its ethnic cleansing campaigns in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas, with ground attacks, frequent indiscriminate bombings and killings, resulting in near starvation conditions for hundreds of thousands, and one million people displaced internally or across the border.
  • Security in Darfur has deteriorated significantly, in villages and in IDP camps, and aid workers have been attacked and killed.
  • In 2013 alone, 460,000 Darfuris were displaced, and in the first six months of 2014, another 390,000 have been newly displaced (each, according to U.N. estimates).
  • In September and October 2013, Sudanese government security forces violently cracked down on popular, peaceful protests prompted by economic austerity measures in Khartoum, Omdurman, and other towns across Sudan. They used excessive force, including live ammunition, against the protesters, killing at least 170 people, including children, and wounding hundreds more.
  • In 2014, the Government of Sudan expelled the ICRC and ACTED from Darfur. In May 2014, the Government of Sudan bombed the only hospital in the Nuba Mountains, and in June 2014 bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in South Kordofan.
  • In 2014, Sudanese government-supported Rapid Support Forces (formerly Janjaweed)in military uniforms are deployed in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan. Dozens of Darfuri villages were destroyed, and tens of thousands of newly displaced civilians have been prevented from entering Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. 
  • “Genocide by attrition” (starvation, thirst, disease and lack of humanitarian aid) continues in the IDP camps in Darfur, in the Nuba Mountains, and in Blue Nile. Delivery of humanitarian aid is restricted or entirely blocked by the Government of Sudan.
  • Civil liberties—freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the rights of women – continue to be denied by the Sudan government and its security forces across Sudan.
  • President al-Bashir has cultivated Sudan’s relationship with Iran, facilitating shipments of weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah; he has “meddled” in the affairs of South Sudan, Libya, Chad, and the Sahel region; and Sudan provides safe haven for Mali jihadists.

The Government of Sudan, under the National Congress Party, has never honored an agreement it has made, including the CPA and any other negotiated with the assistance of the African Union. It uses the negotiation and signing of such agreements to buy time to continue its deadly military campaigns against the Sudanese people. Its current already discredited “national dialogue” is another example of both this delaying tactic and its “divide and rule” method of staying in power. Treating the Government of Sudan as a legitimate diplomatic partner has failed repeatedly and cannot succeed. The current regime is a source of destabilization and terror in the East and North African regions and poses a threat and danger not only to the Sudanese people, but also to regional and international peace and security.

The Sudanese people are eager to contribute to the world’s security and prosperity, not just to be a place for crisis and poverty. The new leaders and generations are keen to establish and forge a real partnership with the United States and other peace-loving nations, especially in Africa, and to work together to build a better world—one in which genocide is never considered a legitimate policy option, and where Sudan is not a safe haven for terrorist organizations. We need the help of the US administration and the African Leaders.

We continue to hope that the US administration will live up to President Obama’s past promises and its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide with a revised and effective foreign policy on Sudan.  We believe the US administration could play a vital role together with the African Leaders.

We, therefore, respectfully request the US administration and African Leaders promptly take the following actions:

  1. Make ending genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass atrocities in Sudan a true priority by (a) preventing aerial attacks on civilians either by imposition of a no-fly zone over Darfur, the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, destruction of the Government of Sudan’s aerial assets or by other means to eliminate aerial attacks against civilians, and (b) working with the UN Security Council and Department for Peacekeeping Operations to create, monitor and maintain effective forces on the ground in Sudan to protect civilians and to facilitate the delivery of sufficient humanitarian aid to all civilians in need.
  2. Use all available and necessary means to persuade the Government of Sudan to permit immediate and unconditional access for international humanitarian aid personnel and supplies to vulnerable and displaced populations. If the Government fails to do so, the US administration and African Leaders must lead international and regional efforts to provide such assistance wherever needed in Sudan without its government’s consent.  
  3. In all bilateral and/or multilateral exchanges involving Sudan, including at or through the UN, prioritize the immediate and permanent disbanding and disarming of the Rapid Support Forces/Janjaweed and any other similar militia.  In addition, the US administration and African Leaders should work to ensure that militia leaders are brought to justice in the appropriate forum(s).
  4. Use all available and necessary means to persuade the Government of Sudan to release immediately all political prisoners and detainees and all individuals detained or imprisoned because of their ethnicity or religion.
  5. Ensure a comprehensive and high quality investigation and report into the allegations of misconduct against UNAMID, especially those relating to the mission’s failure to fulfill its mandate and to truthfully report facts on the ground in Darfur.
  6. Pressure the Government of Sudan to comply with civil rights norms under regional and international conventions, particularly those of freedom of assembly, association, press, religion and speech, and the prohibition and prevention of violence against women and girls.
  7. The US administration should fully and immediately engage with the representatives of the Sudanese people, including the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), the National Consensus Forces (NCF), other political parties, internally displaced persons, refugees, and women’s, youth, and student groups to facilitate and support them in forging a true national dialogue and agreeing on peaceful means of change in effecting an inclusive, peaceful democratic transition in Sudan.
  8. The US administration should lead the effort at the UN Security Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile, as well as the recent actions of the reconstituted Janjaweed/Rapid Support Forces in Darfur and beyond.

Thank you for your serious consideration of our urgent requests.


Act for Sudan
Martina Knee, Co-Founder
San Francisco, CA

Activists Without Borders
Zainalabdin Altayeb Osman
New Haven, CT

Ahmed. H. Adam
Visiting Scholar, Co-chair of the Two Sudans Project
Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR)
Columbia University, NY, NY

African Freedom Coalition
Al Sutton, MD, Founder
New York, NY

Beja Organization for Human Rights and Development
Ibrahim Tahir, President
Washington, DC

Blue Nile Association for Peace and Development
Omer Abdelsawi, Member/Board of Directors
Mulberry, FL 

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

Carl Wilkens Fellowship
Katie-Jay Scott, Program Facilitator
Redondo Beach, CA

The Center for Democracy and Peace
Sabri El Shareef
New Jersey, NJ 

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

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization-CEPO-South Sudan
Edmund Yakani, Executive Director

Darfur Action Group of South Carolina
Dr. Richard Sribnick, Chairman
Columbus, SC

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

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

Darfur Interfaith Network
Martha Boshnick, Co-Chair
Washington, DC

Darfur People’s Association of New York
Mohamed Ebead, President
Brooklyn, NY

Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Inc.
Blanche Foster, Acting Executive Director
Newark, NJ

Darfur Women Action Group
Niemat Ahmadi, Founder/President
Washington, DC

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

The Democratic Alliance
Kamal Alhassan
Denver, CO

Genocide No More–Save Darfur
Marvin Steinberg, Coordinator
Redding, CA

Elizabeth Blackney, Founder
Virginia Beach, VA

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

Grifna, USA
Rudwan Daud, Executive Officer
Eugene, Oregon

Humanity Is Us
Kimberly Hollingsworth, Founder
New York, NY

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

International Justice Project
Katie Flannery, Program Director
Newark, NJ

Investors Against Genocide
Eric Cohen, Chairperson
Boston, MA

Jewish World Watch
Michael Jeser, Executive Director
Los Angeles, CA USA

Jews Against Genocide
Eileen Weiss, Co-Director
New York, NY

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

Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
Shakir Abdulrasool, President
Louisville, KY

Living Ubuntu
Barbara English, Executive Director
Newport Beach, CA

Martin Technical Services’ Access Coalition Project
Deborah Martin, MA, LMFT, Director
Nashville, TN

Massachusetts Coalition for Darfur
William Rosenfeld, Director
Boston, MA

Never Again Coalition
Lauren Fortgang and Diane Koosed, Co-Chairs
Portland, OR

New York Coalition for Sudan
Neiki Ullah, Communications Director
New York, NY

Nuba Mountains Advocacy Group USA
Gogadi Amoga, Founder/ Co-Chair
Batavia, OH

Nuba Christian Family
George Tutu, Chair
Denver, CO

Nuba Mountains International Association USA
Komi Alaiaiser, President
Lorton, VA

Nubia Project
Nuraddin Mannan, President
Washington, DC

Zeinab Blandia, Interim CEO
Brooklyn, NY

Persecution Project Foundation
Brad Phillips, Founder and CEO
Culpeper, VA

Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition
David Rosenberg, Coordinator
Pittsburgh, PA

Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih
Recipient, 2012 U.S. Secretary of State’s
International Women of Courage Award
Philadelphia, PA USA

The San Antonio Coalition Against Genocide
Susan Smylie, Coordinator of Advocacy
San Antonio, TX

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

Society for Threatened Peoples
Sharon Silber, US Director
New York, NY

South Sudan Girls Education Project
Gisma Kueng, President
Buffalo, NY

Stop Genocide Now
Gabriel Stauring, Executive Director
Redondo Beach, CA

Sudan Advocacy Action Forum
Dr. Eleanor Wright, Moderator
Birmingham, AL

Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance
Bashir Ishaq, Executive Officer/ Representative
Washington DC, USA

Sudan Liberation Movement
Hassan A. Ahmed, General Secretary
Portland, ME

Sudan Liberation Movement- SLM (MM)
Gouma Hari, Chair- North America
Brooklyn, NY

Sudan National Democratic Alliance
Saadia Alkhalifa, Executive Officer
San Francisco, CA

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N)
Philip Tutu, Representative and Chairman-USA
Kansas City, MO

Sudan Unlimited
Esther Sprague, Director
San Francisco, CA

The Sudanese American Society
Ali Alhedia
Monterey, CA

Sudanese Kush Liberation Movement
Mohamed Dawoud, General Coordinator
Kansas City, MO

Sudanese Marginalized Forum USA
Magid Kabashi, Chair
New York, NY

Sudanese Opposition’s Forces Alliance in the United States
Motasim Adam
New York, NY

Umma Party (SRF)
Elsadig Elzain, USA Representative
New York, NY

Unite for Darfur Organization
Bahar Arabie, CEO
Gaithersburg, MD

Voices for Sudan
Jimmy Mulla, Founder/ President
Washington, DC

cc: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission

      Senators Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

      Representatives Ed Royce and Eliot L. Engel, House Committee on Foreign Affairs

      Representatives Michael Capuano, Barbara Lee, Michael McCaul, and Frank Wolf, 

      Co-Chairs, Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan