October 9, 2014

Letter to President Obama from Sudanese Diaspora

Filed under Public Statements

October 08, 2014
The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20600

Download the letter and full list of signatories here.

Dear President Obama:

We, the undersigned, are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, of the marginalized people in the war zones in Sudan (Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile) living in the diaspora here in the United States of America.

We are writing to you today because we are deeply concerned about the recent actions by the African Union (AU), led by Mr. Thabo Mbeki, in concert with some leaders and parties aligned with the Government of Sudan, to rescue the ailing regime in Khartoum while ignoring the suffering people in the war-torn regions of Sudan.

The AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) communique of September 12, 2014, “urges the international community, especially the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and bilateral partners, to consider providing an economic support package to Sudan, including expediting debt relief and extending concessionary loans, in support of the people of Sudan as they move forward. Council appeals to all States that have imposed sanctions on the financial services sector to lift them, in order to contribute positively towards the creation of enabling conditions for the success of the National Dialogue.”

In effect, the AUPSC is asking the international community to come to the financial rescue of the Government of Sudan, even though the Government of Sudan continues to use the majority of its funds to finance its ongoing war against its own people, while ignoring the AUPSC requests to “ensure political freedoms” and allow “humanitarian assistance to all populations in war-affected areas.” This proposal, if accepted, would constitute a reward to a regime that has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against its people. The Government of Sudan has defiantly shown no respect for the resolutions of the international community through years. As a result, our people continue to suffer terribly by daily aerial bombings, Janjaweed attacks, and acute food shortages, including the real threat of starvation, because of the Government of Sudan blocking humanitarian assistance.

Dear Mr. President, we long for an end to the decades-long, deadly conflict in Sudan in the hope that we may yet see a genuine, lasting and just peace in Sudan. The regime is using all forms of deceit to cling to power. We believe in an inclusive national dialogue as a means to reach an effective and final political settlement, but that dialogue must not proceed with more of our people’s dead bodies.

The international community must require the regime to show good faith by:

  • Ceasing aerial bombings, not only with a declaration, but also by immediate implementation.
  • Disbanding the Rapid Support Forces militias (Janjaweed).
  • Withdrawing the regime’s Security and militias units from the IDP camps throughout the three regions (Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile).

Because of its track record of signing agreements and not living up to them, the Khartoum regime should never be rewarded in advance of clear evidence that it has implemented its commitments. The international community must require and enforce commitments by the regime in Khartoum to meet its obligations to its people and behave seriously so that Sudan can end this state of perpetual wars. We ask that the international community, at a minimum, insist on the following prerequisites:

  • No assaults by the government of Khartoum or its militias on civilians in the three regions (Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile).
  • No financial reward to the regime in Khartoum in any form or shape — no debt relief, lifting or alleviation of sanctions, not removing the name of Government of Sudan from the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism, no relief financial packages from any international entity — before testimony of the affected people in the three regions that conditions on the ground are radically improved in both security and well-being. Without that confirmation, it will be all too true that a dollar in hands of President Bashir is a bullet in the head of a marginalized victim.
  • Delivery to The Hague of those indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) so that they can stand trial on the charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, because peace will never come to Sudan if there is no justice.
  • Unfettered access by humanitarian relief NGOs to enter and aid the suffering populations in the three regions (Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile).

Dear Mr. President, we, the people of the marginalized regions of Sudan, for decades have been mistreated and deprived of our basic human rights by the Government of Sudan. This ill-treatment has bred profound mistrust of the political parties aligned with the Government. We believe that the prerequisites listed above can ensure the beginning of a genuine and positive process in Sudan so that we can at last achieve a stable and lasting political settlement.

Sincerely yours,

451 Signatories from the Marginalized Sudanese in the Diaspora

Download the letter and full list of signatories here.
Read Sudan Tribune’s article “Darfur and Two Areas activists urge Obama to maintain sanctions on Sudan”